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Reassessing the Wage Penalty for Temps in Germany

  • Jahn, Elke J.

    ()

    (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

As a consequence of the rapid growth of temporary agency employment in Germany, the debate on the poor working conditions of temps, specifically their remuneration, has intensified recently. Using administrative data, the paper shows that the wage gap for German temp workers is rather large and varies between occupation and region. But temps already suffer from a marked wage decline before entering the temporary help sector. Nevertheless, temporary agency employment does not leave a long lasting scar. Two years after leaving the sector, temps no longer suffer from a wage penalty. A recent change in the law set a high incentive for temporary help agencies to pay their workers according to a sectoral collective agreement. Surprisingly, the unionization of the sector could not bring the widening wage gap to a halt.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3663.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik, 2010, 230 (2), 208-233
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3663
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  1. René Böheim & Ana Rute Cardoso, 2009. "Temporary Help Services Employment in Portugal, 1995-2000," NBER Chapters, in: Studies of Labor Market Intermediation, pages 309-334 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Brücker, Herbert & Jahn, Elke J., 2008. "Migration and the Wage-Settings Curve: Reassessing the Labor Market Effects of Migration," Working Papers 08-4, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
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  5. Lewis M. Segal & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1997. "The Growth of Temporary Services Work," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 117-136, Spring.
  6. Kvasnicka, Michael & Werwatz, Axel, 2002. "On the wages of temporary help service workers in Germany," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2002,70, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  7. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings losses of displaced workers," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 92-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  8. Fredrik Andersson & Harry J. Holzer & Julia Lane, 2009. "Temporary Help Agencies and the Advancement Prospects of Low Earners," NBER Chapters, in: Studies of Labor Market Intermediation, pages 373-398 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Oberst, Mathias & Schank, Thorsten & Schnabel, Claus, 2006. "Interne Arbeitsmärkte und Einsatz temporärer Arbeitsverhältnisse : Eine Fallstudie mit Daten eines deutschen Dienstleistungsunternehmens," Discussion Papers 46, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  10. Matthew Dey & Susan Houseman & Anne Polivka, 2006. "Manufacturers' Outsourcing to Employment Services," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 07-132, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
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  14. David H. Autor, 2000. "Why Do Temporary Help Firms Provide Free General Skills Training?," NBER Working Papers 7637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Antoni, Manfred & Jahn, Elke J., 2006. "Do changes in regulation affect employment duration in temporary work agencies?," IAB Discussion Paper 200618, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  16. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
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  18. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Diamond, Peter A, 1994. "Ranking, Unemployment Duration, and Wages," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 417-34, July.
  19. James J. Heckman & Lance J. Lochner & Petra E. Todd, 2005. "Earnings Functions, Rates of Return and Treatment Effects: The Mincer Equation and Beyond," NBER Working Papers 11544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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