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Wage differentials for temporary services work: evidence from administrative data

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  • Lewis M. Segal
  • Daniel G. Sullivan

Abstract

We use administrative data from the unemployment insurance system State of Washington to study the magnitude of the wage differential associated with work in the temporary services industry. We find that temp wage rates are 15% to 20% below the levels that might have been expected based on trends during other periods in workers' careers even after controlling for differences between temps and other workers. Comparing temp wages immediately before and after temp work or to the wages on non-temp jobs begun during the same period as workers were in the temp industry yields estimates of the temp work penalty as low as 10%.

Suggested Citation

  • Lewis M. Segal & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1998. "Wage differentials for temporary services work: evidence from administrative data," Working Paper Series WP-98-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-98-23
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Yukako Ono & Daniel Sullivan, 2013. "Manufacturing Plants' Use of Temporary Workers: An Analysis Using Census Microdata," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 419-443, April.
    2. Arindrajit Dube & Ethan Kaplan, 2010. "Does Outsourcing Reduce Wages in the Low-Wage Service Occupations? Evidence from Janitors and Guards," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(2), pages 287-306, January.
    3. David H. Autor, 2001. "Why Do Temporary Help Firms Provide Free General Skills Training?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1409-1448.
    4. René Böheim & Ana Rute Cardoso, 2009. "Temporary Help Services Employment in Portugal, 1995-2000," NBER Chapters, in: Studies of Labor Market Intermediation, pages 309-334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. David H. Autor, 2000. "Outsourcing at Will: Unjust Dismissal Doctrine and the Growth of Temporary Help Employment," JCPR Working Papers 153, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    6. Böheim, René & Cardoso, Ana Rute, 2007. "Temporary Agency Work in Portugal, 1995–2000," IZA Discussion Papers 3144, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Kvasnicka, Michael & Werwatz, Axel, 2002. "On the wages of temporary help service workers in Germany," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2002,70, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    8. Michael Kvasnicka, 2003. "Inside the Black Box of Temporary Help Agencies," Labor and Demography 0310003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Addison, John T. & Surfield, Christopher J., 2005. "‘Atypical Work’ and Compensation," IZA Discussion Papers 1477, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Marloes de Graaf-Zijl, 2005. "The Anatomy of Job Satisfaction and the Role of Contingent Employment Contracts," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-119/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    11. Jahn, Elke J. & Pozzoli, Dario, 2013. "The pay gap of temporary agency workers — Does the temp sector experience pay off?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 48-57.
    12. John T. Addison & Chad D. Cotti & Christopher J. Surfield, 2015. "Atypical Jobs: Stepping Stones or Dead Ends? Evidence from the NLSY79," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 83(1), pages 17-55, January.
    13. Chiao-Yu Huang & Duan-Rung Chen, 2019. "Association of weight change patterns in late adolescence with young adult wage differentials: A multilevel longitudinal study," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 14(7), pages 1-14, July.
    14. Jahn Elke J., 2010. "Reassessing the Pay Gap for Temps in Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 230(2), pages 208-233, April.
    15. Marloes de Graaf-Zijl, 2005. "Compensation of On-call and Fixed-term Employment: the Role of Uncertainty," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-120/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    16. Jahn, Elke J., 2008. "Reassessing the Wage Penalty for Temps in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 3663, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    Keywords

    Wages; Temporary employees;

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