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Short Employment Spells in Italy, Germany and the UK: Testing the Port of Entry Hypothesis

  • B Contini
  • l Pacelli
  • C Villosio

This paper looks at short employment spells in three European countries: Great Britain, whose labour market is considered the most flexible in the EU; Italy, regarded as the least flexible; and Germany, tightly regulated, but characterised by a deservedly famous apprenticeship system. In particular, it aims to assess whether young people in short-lived jobs stand a better chance of finding a 'good job' compared to their older colleagues. The increasingly held belief that - in modern economies - a 'bad job' at the beginning of one's career is the 'port-of-entry' to stable employment and to upward mobility, makes this assessment particularly relevant; ie it matters greatly if short-duration jobs are entry ports into better employment or become long term-traps. The lack of accepted benchmarks makes it difficult to reach strong conclusions in regard to the 'efficiency' of labour markets, however, this study should help to highlight the effect of different labour market institutions on mobility and on the soundness of the 'port-of-entry' hypothesis.

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File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/DP0426.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0426.

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Date of creation: Jun 1999
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0426
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Katharine G. Abraham & Susan N. Houseman, 1993. "Earnings Inequality in Germany," NBER Working Papers 4541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Costas Meghir & Whitehouse, E, 1995. "Labour market transitions and retirement of men in the UK," IFS Working Papers W95/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Simon Burgess, 1999. "The Reallocation of Labour: An International Comparison Using Job Tenure," CEP Discussion Papers dp0416, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Arulampalam, Wiji & Booth, Alison L & Taylor, Mark P, 2000. "Unemployment Persistence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 24-50, January.
  5. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1, May.
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