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A Study of the Extent and Potential Causes of Alternative Employment Arrangements

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  • Peter Cappelli
  • J. R. Keller

Abstract

The notion of regular, full-time employment as one of the defining features of the U.S. economy has been called into question in recent years by the apparent growth of alternative or "nonstandard" arrangements - part-time work, temporary help, independent contracting, and other arrangements. Identifying the extent of these arrangements, whether they are increasing, and where they occur is the first step for understanding their implications for the economy and the society. But this has been difficult to do because of the lack of appropriate data. We present estimates of the extent of these practices based on a national probability sample of U.S. establishments, evidence on changes in their use over time, and analyses that help us begin to understand why they are used.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Cappelli & J. R. Keller, 2012. "A Study of the Extent and Potential Causes of Alternative Employment Arrangements," NBER Working Papers 18376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18376
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Miles, Thomas J, 2000. "Common Law Exceptions to Employment at Will and U.S. Labor Markets," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 74-101, April.
    2. Susan N. Houseman, 2001. "Why Employers Use Flexible Staffing Arrangements: Evidence from an Establishment Survey," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 149-170, October.
    3. Lars W. Mitlacher, 2007. "The Role of Temporary Agency Work in Different Industrial Relations Systems - a Comparison between Germany and the USA," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(3), pages 581-606, September.
    4. Jamie Peck & Nik Theodore, 2007. "Flexible recession: the temporary staffing industry and mediated work in the United States," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(2), pages 171-192, March.
    5. Abraham, Katharine G & Taylor, Susan K, 1996. "Firms' Use of Outside Contractors: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(3), pages 394-424, July.
    6. Brenda A. Lautsch, 2002. "Uncovering and Explaining Variance in the Features and Outcomes of Contingent Work," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(1), pages 23-43, October.
    7. Jamie Peck & Nikolas Theodore, 1998. "The Business of Contingent Work: Growth and Restructuring in Chicago's Temporary Employment Industry," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 12(4), pages 655-674, December.
    8. 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.
    9. Britton Lombardi & Yukako Ono, 2008. "Professional employer organizations: What are they, who uses them, and why should we care?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 2-14.
    10. Stacey L. Schreft & Aarti Singh, 2003. "A closer look at jobless recoveries," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 45-73.
    11. Cynthia L. Gramm & John F. Schnell, 2001. "The Use of Flexible Staffing Arrangements in Core Production Jobs," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(2), pages 245-258, January.
    12. Susan N. Houseman & Arne L. Kalleberg & George A. Erickcek, 2001. "The Role of Temporary Help Employment in Tight Labor Markets," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 01-73, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    13. Traci L. Mach & John A. Holmes, 2008. "The use of alternative employment arrangements by small businesses: evidence from the 2003 Survey of Small Business Finances," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • 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
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management
    • M55 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Contracting Devices

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