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Non-Standard Employment across Occupations in Germany: The Role of Replaceability and Labour Market Flexibility


  • Eichhorst, Werner

    () (IZA)

  • Marx, Paul

    () (University of Duisburg-Essen)

  • Tobsch, Verena



The share of non-standard jobs in total employment has increased in Germany over recent decades. Research tends to attribute this in particular to labour market re-forms and socio-economic change. However, it becomes clear upon closer inspection that macro trends alone cannot provide satisfactory explanations. A striking yet rarely acknowledged aspect of the development in Germany is a large occupational heterogeneity, which is true for both current working conditions and trajectories of change. A process of asymmetric change has been witnessed in recent years, increasing the gap between occupational groups. Given this process, it seems increasingly questionable to aggregate data at the national level. Therefore, this paper analyses the role of different types of non-standard employment across occupations in Germany, explaining variation between occupations with reference to institutional conditions, industrial relations and patterns of labour supply and demand, in particular skill requirements.

Suggested Citation

  • 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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7662

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Spermann, Alexander, 2011. "The New Role of Temporary Agency Work in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 6180, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Johannes Giesecke & Roland Verwiebe, 2009. "The Changing Wage Distribution in Germany between 1985 and 2006," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 129(2), pages 191-201.
    3. David H. Autor, 2003. "Outsourcing at Will: The Contribution of Unjust Dismissal Doctrine to the Growth of Employment Outsourcing," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 1-42, January.
    4. repec:nms:wsimit:10.5771/0342-300x-2012-1-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Jelle Visser, 2007. "Trade Union Decline and What Next - Is Germany a Special Case?," Industrielle Beziehungen - Zeitschrift fuer Arbeit, Organisation und Management - The German Journal of Industrial Relations, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 14(2), pages 97-117.
    6. Esping-Andersen, Gosta, 1999. "Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198742005.
    7. Rehder, Britta, 2003. "Betriebliche Bündnisse für Arbeit in Deutschland: Mitbestimmung und Flächentarif im Wandel," Schriften aus dem Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung Köln, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, volume 48, number 48.
    8. Hildebrandt, Swen, 1999. "Lean Banking als Reorganisationsmuster für deutsche und französische Kreditinstitute? Anmerkungen zur Tragfähigkeit eines leitbildprägenden Managementkonzepts," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Organization and Employment FS I 99-101, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Brady & Thomas Biegert, 2017. "The Rise of Precarious Employment in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 936, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Eichhorst, Werner & Hinte, Holger & Spermann, Alexander & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2015. "Die neue Beweglichkeit: Die Gewerkschaften in der digitalen Arbeitswelt," IZA Standpunkte 82, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Werner Eichhorst & Michael J. Kendzia, 2016. "Workforce segmentation in Germany: from the founding era to the present time
      [Die Segmentierung der Belegschaft in Deutschland: von der Gründerzeit bis heute]
      ," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 49(4), pages 297-315, December.
    4. Eichhorst, Werner & Tobsch, Verena, 2014. "Flexible Arbeitswelten: Eine Bestandsaufnahme," IZA Standpunkte 72, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Kai-Uwe Müller & Michael Neumann & Katharina Wrohlich, 2018. "Labor Supply under Participation and Hours Constraints," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1758, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Eichhorst, Werner & Spermann, Alexander, 2015. "Sharing Economy – Chancen, Risiken und Gestaltungsoptionen für den Arbeitsmarkt," IZA Research Reports 69, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. David Brady & Thomas Biegert, 2017. "The Rise of Precarious Employment in Germany," LIS Working papers 708, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.

    More about this item


    non-standard employment; fixed-term contracts; low pay; part-time work; service sector; manufacturing; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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