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Different paths towards Flexibility, Deregulated employment protection or temporary employment?

  • Chung, Heejung
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    There are numerous debates on the need to increase flexibility through deregulation of employment protection. Many believe it is essential in generating employment but it is also believed to generate �socially unacceptable� flexible jobs. However, recent studies point to strict regulations on firing permanent workers as the cause of increase in the shares of temporary employment. In other words, stringent protective regulations are not only a source of rigidity, but also force employers to increase flexibility in the labour market through other means. This study explores this hypothesis by examining various aspects of employment protection legislation in concomitance with other competing factors, including structural changes and labour market institutional factors, to explain the cross-national variance of temporary employment across 19 OECD countries using quantitative data. The results show that high cost of firing workers on permanent contracts is the most important factor that explains the high shares of temporary employment. This implies that there are two different ways in which flexibility has been introduced. Either introducing flexibility throughout the labour market using relaxed regulations on firing regular workers, or securing the core workers with high firing cost for regular workers while allowing for flexibility through the use of temporary employment.

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    File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/2396/1/MPRA_paper_2396.pdf
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    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 2396.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2005
    Date of revision: Oct 2005
    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2396
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    1. Ham, John C & Rea, Samuel A, Jr, 1987. "Unemployment Insurance and Male Unemployment Duration in Canada," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(3), pages 325-53, July.
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    5. Pissarides, Christopher A., 2001. "Employment protection," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 131-159, May.
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    8. Juan José Dolado & Carlos García-Serrano & Juan F. Jimeno, . "Drawing Lessons from the Boom of Temporary Jobs in Spain," Working Papers 2001-11, FEDEA.
    9. Castles, Francis G., 2004. "The Future of the Welfare State: Crisis Myths and Crisis Realities," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199273928, March.
    10. Danziger, Sheldon & Haveman, Robert & Plotnick, Robert, 1981. "How Income Transfer Programs Affect Work, Savings, and the Income Distribution: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 975-1028, September.
    11. Lechner, Michael & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm & Spengler, Hannes & Almus, Matthias, 2000. "The impact of non-profit temping agencies on individual labour market success in the West German state of Rhineland-Palatinate," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-02, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    12. Alison L Booth & Juan J. Dolado & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Symposium On Temporary Work Introduction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F181-F188, June.
    13. Cahuc, Pierre & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2001. "Temporary Jobs, Employment Protection and Labor Market Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 260, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57, December.
    15. Sapir, André, 2000. "Who is Afraid of Globalization? The Challenge of Domestic Adjustment in Europe and America," CEPR Discussion Papers 2595, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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