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‘Marginal Employment’ and the Demand for Heterogenous Labour: Empirical Evidence from a Multi-Factor Labour Demand Model for Germany


  • Freier, Ronny

    () (DIW Berlin)

  • Steiner, Viktor

    () (Free University of Berlin)


We develop a structural multi-factor labour demand model which distinguishes between eight labour categories including non-standard types of employment such as marginal employment. The model is estimated for both the number of workers and total working hours using a new panel data set. For unskilled and skilled workers in full-time employment, we find labour demand elasticities similar to previous estimates for the west German economy. Our new estimates of own-wage elasticities for marginal employment range between -.4 (number of male workers in west Germany) to -1 (working hours for women). We illustrate the implications of these estimates by simulating the likely labour demand effects of the recent increase of employers’ social security contributions (SSC) on marginal employment in Germany.

Suggested Citation

  • Freier, Ronny & Steiner, Viktor, 2007. "‘Marginal Employment’ and the Demand for Heterogenous Labour: Empirical Evidence from a Multi-Factor Labour Demand Model for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 2577, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2577

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Christoph Knoppik & Thomas Beissinger, 2003. "How Rigid are Nominal Wages? Evidence and Implications for Germany," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(4), pages 619-641, December.
    2. Christensen, Laurits R & Jorgenson, Dale W & Lau, Lawrence J, 1973. "Transcendental Logarithmic Production Frontiers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(1), pages 28-45, February.
    3. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2004. "Work Incentives and Labor Supply Effects of the 'Mini-Jobs Reform' in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 438, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Martin Falk & Bertrand Koebel, 2001. "A dynamic heterogeneous labour demand model for German manufacturing," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(3), pages 339-348.
    5. Calmfors, Lars & Hoel, Michael, 1988. " Work Sharing and Overtime," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 90(1), pages 45-62.
    6. John Addison & Lutz Bellmann & Thorsten Schank & Paulino Teixeira, 2008. "The Demand for Labor: An Analysis Using Matched Employer–Employee Data from the German LIAB. Will the High Unskilled Worker Own-Wage Elasticity Please Stand Up?," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 114-137, June.
    7. Michael C. Burda & Jennifer Hunt, 2001. "From Reunification to Economic Integration: Productivity and the Labor Market in Eastern Germany," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(2), pages 1-92.
    8. Falk, Martin & Koebel, Bertrand M, 2002. " Outsourcing, Imports and Labour Demand," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(4), pages 567-586, December.
    9. Morrison, Catherine J, 1988. "Quasi-Fixed Inputs in U.S. and Japanese Manufacturing: A Generalized Leontief Restricted Cost Function Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 275-287, May.
    10. Iris Koch & Holger Meinken, 2004. "The Employment Panel of the German Federal Employment Agency," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 124(2), pages 315-325.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schnabel Claus, 2016. "United, Yet Apart? A Note on Persistent Labour Market Differences between Western and Eastern Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 236(2), pages 157-179, March.

    More about this item


    multi-factor labour demand for heterogenous labour; marginal employment;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation

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