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It’s all about the money? Temporary employment, gender, poverty and the role of regulations from a broad European perspective

  • Wim Van Lancker

Departing from growing concerns about in-work poverty and the proliferation of flexible employment, we investigate the association between temporary employment and poverty and the role of regulations in a European comparative perspective. In doing so, we focus specifically on possible gender dimensions, because some are concerned that the impact of flexible employment on income security will be different for men and women and that gender inequality will increase. By means of a logistic multilevel model, we analyse recent EU-SILC data for 24 European countries. The results show that the temporarily employed have a higher poverty risk vis-à-vis permanent workers, mainly caused by lower wages. However, the risk factors to become working poor are similar. The poorly educated, young workers and those living in a single earner household with dependent children have an increased probability to live in poverty, whether they are employed on temporary or permanent basis. Differences between European welfare regimes demonstrate that policy constellations influence the magnitude of these risk factors. Looking at specific policy measures, we find that policies encouraging dual earnership are associated with a lower poverty risk. Counter-intuitively, temporary working women have a lower poverty risk than their male counterparts. They are better protected because they are more often secondary earners in a dual earning household, while men are more often primary earners. Finally, we identify the Netherlands and Czech Republic as countries shaping advantageous circumstances for the temporarily employed. This article advances knowledge on the linkages between temporary employment, economic insecurity and gender differences in European welfare states.

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Paper provided by Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp in its series Working Papers with number 1102.

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Date of creation: Mar 2011
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Handle: RePEc:hdl:wpaper:1102
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.centreforsocialpolicy.eu
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  1. Barbara Petrongolo, 2004. "Gender Segregation in Employment Contracts," CEP Discussion Papers dp0637, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. 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.
  3. Henning Lohmann, 2008. "Welfare States, Labour Market Institutions and the Working Poor: A Comparative Analysis of 20 European Countries," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 776, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  4. Leah Vosko, 2008. "Temporary Work in Transnational Labor Regulation: SER-Centrism and the Risk of Exacerbating Gendered Precariousness," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 88(1), pages 131-145, August.
  5. Wim Van Lancker & Joris Ghysels, 2010. "Female employment, institutions and the role of reference groups: a multilevel analysis of 22 European countries," Working Papers 1002, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  6. Esping-Andersen, Gosta, 1999. "Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198742005, March.
  7. Nicole Bosch & Anja Deelen & Rob Euwals, 2010. "Is Part-time Employment Here to Stay? Working Hours of Dutch Women over Successive Generations," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 24(1), pages 35-54, 03.
  8. Leandro Elia, 2010. "Temporary/Permanent Workers' Wage Gap: A Brand-new Form of Wage Inequality?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 24(2), pages 178-200, 06.
  9. Joris Ghysels & Wim Van Lancker, 2010. "The unequal benefits of family activation: an analysis of the social distribution of family policy among families with young children," Working Papers 1008, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
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