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Temporary Help Service Firms' Use of Employer Tax Credits: Implications for Disadvantaged Workers' Labor Market Outcomes

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  • Sarah Hamersma

    () (Department of Economics, University of Florida)

  • Carolyn Heinrich

    () (LaFollette School of Public Affairs and Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin–Madison)

Abstract

Temporary help services (THS) firms are increasing their hiring of disadvantaged individuals while also increasing their use of employment subsidies for doing so. Do these subsidies—the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) and Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit (WtW)—create incentives that improve employment outcomes for THS workers? We examine the distinct effects of THS employment and WOTC/WtW subsidies on earnings and job duration using new survey and administrative data. We find that, even controlling for a broad range of worker and firm characteristics, some important differences persist between THS workers, WOTC/WtW-certified workers, and those who are both THS and WOTC/WtW certified. THS workers who are WOTC certified have similar job duration to eligible unsubsidized workers but much higher quarterly earnings. Among WOTC-certified workers, those in THS firms have similar quarterly earnings to those in other industries but much shorter average job duration. Panel estimates suggest that these effects do not persist over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarah Hamersma & Carolyn Heinrich, 2008. "Temporary Help Service Firms' Use of Employer Tax Credits: Implications for Disadvantaged Workers' Labor Market Outcomes," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 1123-1148, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:74:4:y:2008:p:1123-1148
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jahn, Elke J. & Rosholm, Michael, 2010. "Looking beyond the bridge: How temporary agency employment affects labor market outcomes," IAB Discussion Paper 201009, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    2. Sarah Hamersma & Carolyn Heinrich & Peter Mueser, 2014. "Temporary Help Work: Earnings, Wages, and Multiple Job Holding," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 72-100, January.
    3. Jahn, Elke Jutta & Rosholm, Michael, 2015. "The Cyclicality of the Stepping Stone Effect of Temporary Agency Employment," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113117, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Hamersma, Sarah & Heinrich, Carolyn J. & Mueser, Peter R., 2012. "Temporary Help Work: Compensating Differentials and Multiple Job-Holding," IZA Discussion Papers 6759, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Jahn, Elke J. & Rosholm, Michael, 2014. "Looking beyond the bridge: The effect of temporary agency employment on labor market outcomes," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 108-125.
    6. Gunderson, Jill Marie & Hotchkiss, Julie L., 2007. "Job Separation Behavior of WOTC Workers: Results from a Unique Case Study," MPRA Paper 44801, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets

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