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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. Julia Angerhausen & Christian Bayer & Burkhard Hehenkamp, 2006. "Strategic Unemployment," Discussion Papers in Economics 06_02, University of Dortmund, Department of Economics.
  2. David Autor & Susan Houseman, 2009. "Do Temporary-Help Jobs Improve Labor Market Outcomes for Low-Skilled Workers? Evidence from 'Work First'," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 05-124, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  3. Alison L. Booth & Marco Francesconi & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Temporary Jobs: Stepping Stones or Dead Ends?," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 8, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  4. René Böheim & Andrea Weber, 2011. "The Effects of Marginal Employment on Subsequent Labour Market Outcomes," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(2), pages 165-181, 05.
  5. Richard Blundell & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2004. "Has 'In-Work' Benefit Reform Helped the Labor Market?," NBER Chapters, in: Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000, pages 411-460 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Michael Kvasnicka, 2009. "Does Temporary Help Work Provide a Stepping Stone to Regular Employment?," NBER Chapters, in: Studies of Labor Market Intermediation, pages 335-372 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2008. "Alternative approaches to evaluation in empirical microeconomics," CeMMAP working papers CWP26/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 173-234, 04.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Michael Fertig & Jochen Kluve & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2006. "Der erweiterte Minijob für Arbeitslose - Ein Reformvorschlag," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(2), pages 227-255, 05.
  13. David Card & Dean R. Hyslop, 2005. "Estimating the Effects of a Time-Limited Earnings Subsidy for Welfare-Leavers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 1723-1770, November.
  14. 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).
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Lawrence F. Katz, 1996. "Wage Subsidies for the Disadvantaged," NBER Working Papers 5679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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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