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The Impact of Employment Protection Mandates on Demographic Temporary Employment Patterns: International Microeconomic Evidence

  • Kahn, Lawrence M.


    (Cornell University)

Using 1994-98 International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) microdata, this paper investigates the impact of employment protection laws on the incidence of temporary employment by demographic group. More stringent employment protection for regular jobs is predicted to increase the relative incidence of temporary employment for less experienced and less skilled workers. I test this reasoning using IALS data for Canada, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, countries with widely differing levels of mandated employment protection. Across these countries, the strength of such mandates (as measured by the OECD) is positively associated with the relative incidence of temporary employment for young workers, native women, immigrant women and those with low cognitive ability. These effects largely hold up when I adjust for the possible sample selection due to the fact that employment to population ratios differ across countries. Moreover, the effects of protection on the young, women, and immigrants are stronger in countries with higher levels of collective bargaining coverage, suggesting a connection between binding wage floors and the allocative effects of employment protection mandates.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1548.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Journal, 2007, 117(521), F333-F356
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1548
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  1. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Job security, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 851-879, June.
  2. Jennifer Hunt, 2002. "The Transition in East Germany: When Is a Ten-Point Fall in the Gender Wage Gap Bad News?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 148-169, January.
  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. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C1-33, March.
  5. Giuseppe Bertola & Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2002. "Labor Market Institutions and Demographic Employment Patterns," NBER Working Papers 9043, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Maia Güell, 2000. "Fixed-Term Contracts and Unemployment: An Efficiency Wage Analysis," CEP Discussion Papers dp0461, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084 Elsevier.
  8. 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).
  9. 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.
  10. O Blanchard & A Landier, 2002. "The Perverse Effects of Partial Labour Market Reform: fixed--Term Contracts in France," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F214-F244, June.
  11. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2005. "Do Cognitive Test Scores Explain Higher U.S. Wage Inequality?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 184-193, February.
  12. Giuseppe Bertola, 1991. "Labor Turnover Costs and Average Labor Demand," NBER Working Papers 3866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  14. Alison L Booth & Juan J. Dolado & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Symposium On Temporary Work Introduction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F181-F188, June.
  15. Bertil Holmlund & Donald Storrie, 2002. "Temporary Work In Turbulent Times: The Swedish Experience," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F245-F269, June.
  16. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 1994. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," NBER Working Papers 4678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Lazear, Edward P, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726, August.
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