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Why Do Firms Use Fixed-Term Contracts?

  • José Varejão

    ()

    (CETE, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)

  • Pedro Portugal

    ()

    (Banco de Portugal and Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

This paper investigates the reasons why firms use fixed-term contracts.Two distinctive features of these contracts - reduced firing costs and the prohibition of contract rollover - are highlighted. Firms' decision related to temporary contracts - the choice of the contract on offer and contract conversion - are modeled within standard adjustment costs and matching settings. Regression analysis is performed on the stock of fixed-term contracts and the flows of temporary workers to permanent positions. Results from a beta-binomial regression model indicate that screening workers for permanent positions is the single most important reason why firms use this type of contract.

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Paper provided by Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto in its series CEF.UP Working Papers with number 0310.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:por:cetedp:0310
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  1. J. M. R. Murteira & Joao M. C. Santos Silva, 2000. "Estimation of Default Probabilities Using Incomplete Contracts Data," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1121, Econometric Society.
  2. Alison L. Booth & Marco Francesconi & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Temporary Jobs: Stepping Stones Or Dead Ends?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F189-F213, June.
  3. Eric Maurin, 2000. "The European Paradox : Do Flexible Contracts Create Rigid Labor Markets ?," Working Papers 2000-07, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  4. Abowd, John M & Corbel, Patrick & Kramarz, Francis, 1997. "The Entry and Exit of Workers and the Growth of Employment: An Analysis of French Establishments," CEPR Discussion Papers 1765, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Eric Maurin, 2000. "The European Paradox : Do Flexible Contracts Create Rigid Labor Markets ?," Working Papers 2000-07, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  6. Simon Burgess & Julia Lane & David Stevens, 1996. "Job Flows, Worker Flows and Churning," Labor and Demography 9604004, EconWPA.
  7. Güell, Maia & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2003. "How Binding Are Legal Limits? Transitions from Temporary to Permanent Work in Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 782, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, June.
  9. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, 2000. "Work transitions into and out of involuntary temporary employment in a segmented market: Evidence from Spain," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(2), pages 309-325, January.
  10. Susan N. Houseman, . "Why Employers Use Flexible Staffing Arrangements: Evidence from an Establishment Survey," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles snh2001, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  11. Serrano, Carlos Garcia, 1998. "Worker Turnover and Job Reallocation: The Role of Fixed-Term Contracts," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 709-25, October.
  12. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Wolfe, John R, 1990. "Compensating Wage Differentials and the Duration of Wage Loss," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages S175-97, January.
  13. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
  14. Olivier Blanchard & Augustin Landier, 2001. "The Perverse Effects of Partial Labor Market Reform: Fixed Duration Contracts in France," NBER Working Papers 8219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1990. "Gross Job Creation and Destruction: Microeconomic Evidence and Macroeconomic Implications," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 123-186 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. David H. Autor, 2001. "Why Do Temporary Help Firms Provide Free General Skills Training?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1409-1448, November.
  17. Lane, Julia & Stevens, David & Burgess, Simon, 1996. "Worker and job flows," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 109-113, April.
  18. Hunt, Jennifer, 2000. "Firing Costs, Employment Fluctuations and Average Employment: An Examination of Germany," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 67(266), pages 177-202, May.
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