IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Temporary Contracts, Incentives and Unemployment

  • Güell, Maia
  • Rodríguez Mora, José Vicente

Firing-cost-free temporary contracts were introduced in many European countries during the eigthies in order to fight high unemployment rates. Their rationale was to increase job creation in a context of high firing costs that were politically hard to decrease. Temporary contracts have become a prevalent labor market institution in many countries, and with hindsight it seems uncontroversial that they have failed at decreasing unemployment. Evidence indicates that temporary contracts not only increases unemployment fluctuations, but also unemployment levels. In this paper we argue that the rationale for the introduction of temporary contracts is flawed at its root. We provide a novel explanation of why temporary contracts can increase unemployment even in a context where a reduction of firing costs would actually reduce unemployment. We argue that, if minimum wages are kept at high levels, temporary contracts have an effect not unlike the increase of unemployment benefits. By increasing the flows in and out of unemployment into relatively highly paid temporary jobs (minimum wage), they increase the value of being unemployed. This has a negative effect on incentives, increases wages and reduces the willingness of firms to create employment. We present empirical evidence supportive of some of the implications of the model.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=8116
Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8116.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8116
Contact details of provider: Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820

Order Information: Email:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Wasmer, E., 1997. "Competition for Jobs in a Growing Economy and the Emergence of Dualism," DELTA Working Papers 97-13, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  2. Olivier Blanchard & Augustin Landier, 2001. "The Perverse Effects of Partial Labor Market Reform: Fixed Duration Contracts in France," NBER Working Papers 8219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Dolado, Juan J. & Garcia-Serrano, Carlos & Jimeno, Juan F, 2001. "Drawing Lessons From the Boom of Temporary Jobs in Spain," CEPR Discussion Papers 2884, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Samuel Bentolila & Pierre Cahuc & Juan Jose Dolado & Thomas Le Barbanchon, 2010. "Two-Tier Labor Markets in the Great Recession: France vs. Spain," CESifo Working Paper Series 3269, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Cabrales, Antonio & Hopenhayn, Hugo A., 1997. "Labor-market flexibility and aggregate employment volatility," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 189-228, June.
  6. Cesar Alonso-Borrego & Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Jose Galdon-Sanchez, 2004. "Evaluating Labor Market Reforms: A General Equilibrium Approach," Working Papers 866, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  7. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
  8. George A. Akerlof & Lawrence F. Katz, 1988. "Workers' Trust Funds and the Logic of Wage Profiles," NBER Working Papers 2548, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Katz, Lawrence F & Murphy, Kevin M, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78, February.
  10. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2001. "Can Falling Supply Explain The Rising Return To College For Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 705-746, May.
  11. 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.
  12. Güell, Maia & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2003. "How Binding Are Legal Limits? Transitions from Temporary to Permanent Work in Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 782, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Cahuc, Pierre & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2001. "Temporary Jobs, Employment Protection and Labor Market Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 260, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Victor Aguirregabiria & Cesar Alonso-Borrego, 2014. "Labor Contracts And Flexibility: Evidence From A Labor Market Reform In Spain," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(2), pages 930-957, 04.
  15. Kahn, Lawrence M., 2007. "Employment Protection Reforms, Employment and the Incidence of Temporary Jobs in Europe: 1995–2001," IZA Discussion Papers 3241, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  17. Alison L. Booth & Marco Francesconi & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Temporary Jobs: Stepping Stones or Dead Ends?," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 8, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  18. Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin & Marianne Pauchet, 1999. "Fixed-term Contracts and the Dynamics of Labour Demand," Working Papers 99-02, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  19. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
  20. Bentolila, Samuel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1992. "The macroeconomic impact of flexible labor contracts, with an application to Spain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1013-1047, June.
  21. James Costain & Juan F. Jimeno & Carlos Thomas, 2010. "Employment fluctuations in a dual labor market," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1013, Banco de Espa�a.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8116. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.