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The effects of marginal employment on subsequent labour market outcomes

We analyse the consequences of starting a wage subsidised job, "marginal employment", for unemployed workers. Marginal employment is a type of wage subsidy paid to unemployed workers and they do not lose their unemployment benefits if the wage is below a certain threshold. We ask if the unemployed who start marginal jobs face better labour market outcomes than those who do not work. A priori it is not clear if those who work in marginal employment improve their labour market status, e.g. by signalling effort, or worsen it by reduced job search effort. We select unemployed workers and investigate the effect of marginal employment on their labour market outcomes, by means of propensity score matching. Our results suggest that selection into marginal employment is "negative", i.e. workers with characteristics we usually associate with low-productivity are more likely to select into such jobs. The unemployed who start to work in marginal employment during their unemployment spell suffer a (causal) penalty for doing so, relative to their peers who do not. The penalty, in terms of less employment, more unemployment, lower wages, lessens over time but is still present after three years.

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File URL: http://www.econ.jku.at/papers/2006/wp0612.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series Economics working papers with number 2006-12.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2006_12
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  1. David Card & Jochen Kluve & Andrea Weber, 2010. "Active Labor Market Policy Evaluations: A Meta-Analysis," NBER Working Papers 16173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Booth, Alison L. & Francesconi, Marco & Frank, Jeff, 2000. "Temporary Jobs: Stepping Stones or Dead Ends?," IZA Discussion Papers 205, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  4. Guido Imbens & Jeffrey Wooldridge, 2008. "Recent developments in the econometrics of program evaluation," CeMMAP working papers CWP24/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Böheim, René & Weber, Andrea, 2006. "The Effects of Marginal Employment on Subsequent Labour Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 2221, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  7. David H. Autor & Susan N. Houseman, . "Do Temporary-Help Jobs Improve Labor Market Outcomes for Low-Skilled Workers? Evidence from "Work First"," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles dhasnh2010, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
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  9. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
  10. David Card & Dean R. Hyslop, 2004. "Estimating the Effects of a Time Limited Earnings Subsidy for Welfare Leavers," NBER Working Papers 10647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Michael Fertig & Jochen Kluve & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2005. "Der erweiterte Minijob für Arbeitslose – Ein Reformvorschlag," RWI Materialien, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, pages 38, 01.
  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. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  14. Chetty, Raj, 2008. "Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Scholarly Articles 9751256, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
  16. Phelps, Edmund S, 1994. "Low-Wage Employment Subsidies versus the Welfare State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 54-58, May.
  17. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Causal Effects in Non-Experimental Studies: Re-Evaluating the Evaluation of Training Programs," NBER Working Papers 6586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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