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The New Role of Temporary Agency Work in Germany

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  • Spermann, Alexander

    () (University of Freiburg)

Abstract

This paper reviews the development of temporary agency work after its deregulation in the context of the so-called Hartz reforms in Germany. The new role of agency work emerges from its enormous growth after deregulation, the intense use of agency work by big stock-listed companies and upcoming structural shortage of skilled labor. Agency work turns out to be procyclical and a leading indicator of labor market trends as well as an early indicator of recessions. The stepping stone hypothesis is only accepted for long-term unemployed after the Hartz reforms. Anecdotal evidence of revolving door effects is well-known but substitution as a broad-based phenomenon is not plausible. Education of staffing agents and training programs for agency workers are on the staffing industry's agenda and will be even more important in the near future due to structural skills shortages.

Suggested Citation

  • Spermann, Alexander, 2011. "The New Role of Temporary Agency Work in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 6180, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6180
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    Cited by:

    1. Werner Eichhorst & Verena Tobsch, 2013. "Has Atypical Work Become Typical in Germany?: Country Case Studies on Labour Market Segmentation," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 596, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Bräuninger, Michael & Michaelis, Jochen & Sode, Madlen, 2013. "10 Jahre Hartz-Reformen," HWWI Policy Papers 73, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
      • Michael Bräuninger & Jochen Michaelis & Madlen Sode, 2013. "10 Jahre Hartz-Reformen," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201318, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    3. repec:ilo:ilowps:481496 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Werner Eichhorst, 2015. "The Unexpected Appearance of a New German Model," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 53(1), pages 49-69, March.
    5. Smirnych, L. I. & Wörgötter, Andreas, 2016. "The importance of institutional and organizational characteristics for the use of fixed-term and agency work contracts in Russia," ECON WPS - Vienna University of Technology Working Papers in Economic Theory and Policy 09/2016, Vienna University of Technology, Institute for Mathematical Methods in Economics, Research Group Economics (ECON).
    6. Spermann, Alexander, 2014. "Zehn Jahre Hartz IV – Was hilft Langzeitarbeitslosen wirklich?," IZA Standpunkte 76, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Eichhorst, Werner & Tobsch, Verena, 2013. "Has Atypical Work Become Typical in Germany?," IZA Discussion Papers 7609, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Kahlenberg, Christoph & Spermann, Alexander, 2012. "How Could Germany Escape the Demographic Trap?," IZA Policy Papers 48, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Neumann, Uwe, 2017. "Temporary agency employment in Germany: A strategic "buffer" for firms and regions in the crisis?," Ruhr Economic Papers 727, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    10. Jung, Sven, 2013. "Employment Adjustment in German Firms," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79696, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Spermann, Alexander, 2013. "How Does Temporary Agency Work Impact German Agency Workers?," IZA Policy Papers 70, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Eichhorst, Werner & Marx, Paul & Tobsch, Verena, 2013. "Non-Standard Employment across Occupations in Germany: The Role of Replaceability and Labour Market Flexibility," IZA Discussion Papers 7662, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Jennifer Ferreira, 2016. "The German temporary staffing industry: growth, development, scandal and resistance," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 117-143, March.
    14. Jung, Sven, 2012. "Employment adjustment in German firms," Discussion Papers 80, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    15. Alexander Spermann, 2016. "How can temporary work agencies provide more training?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 251-251, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    stepping stone hypothesis; temporary agency work; Hartz reform; staffing industry; revolving door effect;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets

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