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Are temporary jobs a port of entry into permanent employment?: Evidence from matched employer-employee

  • Fabio Berton
  • Francesco Devicienti
  • Lia Pacelli

Purpose – This paper seeks to explore whether temporary jobs are a port of entry into permanent employment and to argue that the answer crucially depends on the type of temporary contracts being considered. Design/methodology/approach – The paper bases its empirical evidence on a longitudinal sample of labour market entrants in Italy and estimates dynamic multinomial logit models with fixed effects to allow for the non-random sorting of workers into the different types of contracts. Findings – The authors show that the transition to permanent employment is more likely for individuals who hold any type of temporary contract than for the unemployed, thus broadly confirming the existence of port-of-entry effects. Yet, not all temporary contracts are the same. An order among non-standard contracts with respect to the probability of taking an open-ended job emerges, with training contracts at the top, freelance work at the bottom, and fixed-term contracts outperforming apprenticeships. Strong SSC rebates, lack of training requirements, and low legal constraints concerning renewals result in poor port-of-entry performance, as in the case of freelance contracts. Instead, mandatory training and more binding legal constraints on the use, extension, and renewals of training contracts tend to enhance the probability of getting a standard job. Originality/value – Most of the existing empirical literature aggregates temporary contracts in a single category, thereby ignoring a relevant source of heterogeneity.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Manpower.

Volume (Year): 32 (2011)
Issue (Month): 8 (November)
Pages: 879-899

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:32:y:2011:i:8:p:879-899
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  1. Andrea Ichino & Fabrizia Mealli & Tommaso Nannicini, 2008. "From temporary help jobs to permanent employment: what can we learn from matching estimators and their sensitivity?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 305-327.
  2. César Alonso-Borrego & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & José E. Galdón-Sánchez, 2004. "Evaluating Labor Market Reforms: A General Equilibrium Approach," Economics Working Papers we042307, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  3. Marloes de Graaf-Zijl & Gerard van den Berg & Arjan Heyma, 2011. "Stepping stones for the unemployed: the effect of temporary jobs on the duration until (regular) work," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 107-139, January.
  4. Maia Güell & Barbara Petrongolo, 2003. "How Binding are Legal Limits? Transitions from Termporary to Permanent Work in Spain," Working Papers 75, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  5. Pietro Garibaldi & Lia Pacelli & Andrea Borgarello, 2003. "Employment Protection Legislation and the Size of Firms," Working Papers 247, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  6. Juan José Dolado & Carlos García-Serrano & Juan F. Jimeno, . "Drawing Lessons from the Boom of Temporary Jobs in Spain," Working Papers 2001-11, FEDEA.
  7. Alison L. Booth & Marco Francesconi & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Temporary Jobs: Stepping Stones Or Dead Ends?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F189-F213, June.
  8. Julie Hotchkiss, 1999. "The effect of transitional employment on search duration: A selectivity approach," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 27(1), pages 38-52, March.
  9. Bo E. Honoré & Ekaterini Kyriazidou, 2000. "Panel Data Discrete Choice Models with Lagged Dependent Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 839-874, July.
  10. Bruno Contini & Francesca Cornaglia & Claudio Malpede & Enrico Rettore, 2002. "Measuring the impact of the Italian CFL programme on the job opportunities for the youths," 10th International Conference on Panel Data, Berlin, July 5-6, 2002 B1-4, International Conferences on Panel Data.
  11. D'Addio, Anna Cristina & Rosholm, Michael, 2005. "Exits from temporary jobs in Europe: A competing risks analysis," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 449-468, August.
  12. Gagliarducci, Stefano, 2005. "The dynamics of repeated temporary jobs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 429-448, August.
  13. Addison, John T. & Surfield, Christopher J., 2006. "Does Atypical Work Help the Jobless? Evidence from a CAEAS/CPS Cohort Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 2325, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Bonnal, Liliane & Fougere, Denis & Serandon, Anne, 1997. "Evaluating the Impact of French Employment Policies on Individual Labour Market Histories," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 683-713, October.
  15. Hagen, Tobias, 2003. "Do Fixed-Term Contracts Increase the Long-Term Employment Opportunities of the Unemployed?," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-49, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  16. Martin Browning & Jesus M. Carro, 2010. "Heterogeneity in dynamic discrete choice models," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 13(1), pages 1-39, 02.
  17. Fabio Berton & Pietro Garibladi, 2006. "Workers and Firms Sorting into Temporary Jobs," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 51, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  18. Magnac, Thierry, 2000. "Subsidised Training and Youth Employment: Distinguishing Unobserved Heterogeneity from State Dependence in Labour Market Histories," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 805-37, October.
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