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A Price for Flexibility? The Temp Agency Wage Gap in Sweden 1998-2008

  • Andersson Joona, Pernilla

    ()

    (SOFI, Stockholm University)

  • Wadensjö, Eskil

    ()

    (Stockholm University)

Temporary agency employment has grown rapidly in Sweden as in many other countries. The sector was deregulated in the early 1990s and there are now only few remaining restrictions. Even though there are collective agreements covering a large part of the workers in the sector, the unions are worried about low wages and poor working conditions in the sector. This paper analyzes the development of the temporary agency wage gap during the period 1998-2008 using Swedish register data. We find that from a nearly non-existent gap in 2001 and a positive wage gap for women, both male and female temp agency workers received between 16 and 18 percent lower wages in 2008. This development appears partly to be explained by a lower return to university education among temp agency workers than among those employed in other sectors.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6587.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6587
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  1. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Miguel Malo & Fernando Muñoz-Bullón, 2008. "The Role of Temporary Help Agency Employment on Temp-to-Perm Transitions," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 138-161, June.
  2. Ichino, Andrea & Mealli, Fabrizia & Nannicini, Tommaso, 2006. "From Temporary Help Jobs to Permanent Employment: What Can We Learn from Matching Estimators and their Sensitivity?," IZA Discussion Papers 2149, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Fredrik Andersson & Harry J. Holzer & Julia Lane, 2007. "Temporary Help Agencies and the Advancement Prospects of Low Earners," NBER Working Papers 13434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jahn, Elke J., 2008. "Reassessing the Wage Penalty for Temps in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 3663, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Susan N. Houseman & Arne L. Kalleberg & George A. Erickcek, 2003. "The Role of Temporary Agency Employment in Tight Labor Markets," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(1), pages 105-127, October.
  6. Carolyn J. Heinrich & Peter R. Mueser & Kenneth R. Troske, 2007. "The Role of Temporary Help Employment in Low-wage Worker Advancement," NBER Working Papers 13520, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Elke J. Jahn & Jan Bentzen, 2012. "What Drives the Demand for Temporary Agency Workers?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 26(3), pages 341-355, 09.
  8. Michael Kvasnicka & Axel Werwatz, 2003. "On the Wages of Temporary Help Service Workers in Germany," Labor and Demography 0309004, EconWPA.
  9. Andersson, Pernilla & Wadensjö, Eskil, 2004. "Statistik om bemanningsbranschen. Presentation och jämförelser av två nya databaser," Working Paper Series 6/2004, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  10. Leuven, Edwin & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 2011. "Overeducation and Mismatch in the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 5523, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. David H. Autor, 2000. "Why Do Temporary Help Firms Provide Free General Skills Training?," NBER Working Papers 7637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Michael Kvasnicka, 2008. "Does Temporary Help Work Provide a Stepping Stone to Regular Employment?," NBER Working Papers 13843, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jahn, Elke & Pozzoli, Dario, 2011. "Does the Sector Experience Affect the Pay Gap for Temporary Agency Workers?," Working Papers 11-9, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  14. Marloes de Graaf-Zijl & Ernest E. Berkhout, 2007. "Temporary agency work and the business cycle," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 28(7), pages 539-556, November.
  15. Jahn, Elke J. & Rosholm, Michael, 2010. "Looking beyond the bridge: How temporary agency employment affects labor market outcomes," IAB Discussion Paper 201009, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  16. Chris Forde & Gary Slater, 2004. "Agency working in Britain: character, consequences and regulation," Working Papers 2004/4, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Business School, Economics Division.
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