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Contingent Employment and Labour Market Pathways: Bridge or Trap?

Listed author(s):
  • McVicar, Duncan

    ()

    (Queen's University Belfast)

  • Wooden, Mark

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

  • Fok, Yin King

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

The debate over whether contingent (and typically more precarious) employment acts as a bridge to permanent employment, or as a trap, has tended to focus on transitions rather than longer-run pathways. This approach cannot accurately identify indirect pathways from contingent to permanent employment, and nor can it identify 'trap' pathways involving short spells in other states. It also fails to distinguish between those experiencing contingent employment as a 'blip' and those with longer spells. This article employs a different approach involving sequence analysis. Exploiting longitudinal data for Australian, evidence for the co-existence of pathways that correspond to 'bridge' and 'trap' characterisations of contingent employment is found. Further, in the case of casual employment these two types of labour market pathways are roughly equally prevalent, although for some groups – in particular women, those with low educational attainment, and those with a disability – 'traps' are more likely than 'bridges'.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10768.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: May 2017
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10768
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  1. Alison L. Booth & Marco Francesconi & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Temporary Jobs: Stepping Stones Or Dead Ends?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages 189-213, June.
  2. Guell, Maia & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2007. "How binding are legal limits? Transitions from temporary to permanent work in Spain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 153-183, April.
  3. Christian Brzinsky-Fay & Ulrich Kohler & Magdalena Luniak, 2006. "Sequence analysis with Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 6(4), pages 435-460, December.
  4. Michael D. S. Morris & Alexander Vekker, 2001. "An Alternative Look at Temporary Workers, Their Choices, and the Growth in Temporary Employment," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 22(2), pages 373-390, April.
  5. Marloes de Graaf-Zijl & Gerard van den Berg & Arjan Heyma, 2011. "Stepping stones for the unemployed: the effect of temporary jobs on the duration until (regular) work," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 107-139, January.
  6. James B. Rebitzer & Lowell J. Taylor, 1991. "A Model of Dual Labor Markets When Product Demand Is Uncertain," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1373-1383.
  7. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, 2000. "Work Transitions into and Out of Involuntary Temporary Employment in a Segmented Market: Evidence from Spain," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(2), pages 309-325, January.
  8. Irma Mooi-Reci & Ronald Dekker, 2015. "Fixed-Term Contracts: Short-Term Blessings or Long-Term Scars? Empirical Findings from the Netherlands 1980–2000," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 53(1), pages 112-135, 03.
  9. Hielke Buddelmeyer & Mark Wooden, 2011. "Transitions Out of Casual Employment: The Australian Experience," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 109-130, 01.
  10. Renato Faccini, 2014. "Reassessing Labour Market Reforms: Temporary Contracts as a Screening Device," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(575), pages 167-200, 03.
  11. Duncan McVicar & Michael Anyadike-Danes, 2002. "Predicting successful and unsuccessful transitions from school to work by using sequence methods," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 165(2), pages 317-334.
  12. Tomas Korpi & Henrik Levin, 2001. "Precarious Footing: Temporary Employment as a Stepping Stone out of Unemployment in Sweden," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 15(1), pages 127-148, March.
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