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‘Marginal Employment’: Stepping Stone or Dead End? Evaluating the German Experience

Author

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  • Freier, Ronny

    () (DIW Berlin)

  • Steiner, Viktor

    () (Free University of Berlin)

Abstract

'Marginal employment', i.e. employment at low working hours and earnings not covered by social security, has been gaining importance in the German economy over the past decade. Using a large newly available panel data set and statistical matching techniques, we analyse the effects of marginal employment on future individual outcome variables such as unemployment, regular employment and earnings. In addition to average treatment effects, we calculate dynamic and cumulative treatment effects accounting for total time spent in various labor market states and related earnings over a period of three years. We find that marginal employment (i) does not affect time spent in regular employment within a three-years' observation period, (ii) reduces future unemployment, (iii) slightly increases cumulated future earnings, on average, and (iv) is associated with a small negative cumulative earnings effect for older workers in west Germany.

Suggested Citation

  • Freier, Ronny & Steiner, Viktor, 2007. "‘Marginal Employment’: Stepping Stone or Dead End? Evaluating the German Experience," IZA Discussion Papers 3175, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3175
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrea Ichino & Fabrizia Mealli & Tommaso Nannicini, 2008. "From temporary help jobs to permanent employment: what can we learn from matching estimators and their sensitivity?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 305-327.
    2. René Böheim & Andrea Weber, 2011. "The Effects of Marginal Employment on Subsequent Labour Market Outcomes," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(2), pages 165-181, May.
    3. Ronny Freier & Viktor Steiner, 2007. "'Marginal Employment' and the Demand for Heterogenous Labour: Empirical Evidence from a Multi-factor Labour Demand Model for Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 662, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Michael Fertig & Jochen Kluve, 2006. "Alternative Beschäftigungsformen in Deutschland: Effekte der Neuregelung von Zeitarbeit, Minijobs und Midijobs," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 75(3), pages 97-117.
    5. Peter Haan & Viktor Steiner, 2008. "Making Work Pay for the Elderly Unemployed - Evaluating Alternative Policy Reforms for Germany," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 64(3), pages 380-402, September.
    6. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2008. "Some Practical Guidance For The Implementation Of Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 31-72, February.
    7. 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.
    8. Lechner, Michael, 1999. "Earnings and Employment Effects of Continuous Off-the-Job Training in East Germany after Unification," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(1), pages 74-90, January.
    9. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
    10. Sianesi, Barbara, 2001. "An evaluation of the active labour market programmes in Sweden," Working Paper Series 2001:5, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    11. Jürgen Schupp & Elisabeth Birkner, 2004. "Kleine Beschäftigungsverhältnisse: kein Jobwunder: dauerhafter Rückgang von Zweitbeschäftigungen?," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 71(34), pages 487-497.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Kappeler & Andrés Fuentes Hutfilter, 2014. "Making Economic Growth more Socially Inclusive in Germany," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1175, OECD Publishing.
    2. repec:bla:labour:v:31:y:2017:i:4:p:394-414 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    marginal employment; social security contributions; wage subsidies; labour market policy; evaluation of treatment effect;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions

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