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Temporary Employment in Tourism Activities: Regional differences in Spain

Listed author(s):
  • Diana Perez-Dacal


  • Yolanda Pena-Boquete


The great capacity of tourism to provide employment, especially between groups of workers with a more difficult insertion in the labour market, is one of its most well-known positive aspects. However Tourism employment is often described as low skilled, which is associated with average lower wages, higher percentage of fixed-term contracts, and longer working day than other industries. Nevertheless, this is not true for all tourism activities. Although this description could be close for hotels and restaurants labour market, it is completely different for land transport, travel agencies and tour operators activities. This could be related with the fact that each characteristic tourism industry provides a different percentage of his output to tourists, as it is shown in the Spanish Tourism Satellite Account. Given that, the aim of this paper is to analyse what factors can determine the incidence of temporary employment in Tourism activities in Spain and to discuss regional differences. As result, our first step is to identify the labour market characteristics of the different tourism activities. These results are clear influenced by the particularities of the different activities (labour market of transport activities is very different from hotels and restaurants activities) and not by a tourism characteristic. Thus, the second step is to analyse how tourism influence in the labour-market conditions after controlling for the particularities of the different tourism activities. In this case, we focus in just one characteristic of the labour market very associated with low-quality jobs; the share of workers with fixed-term jobs. Although Spain is one of the countries with the highest arrivals of tourists, those are not equally distributed by regions. This allows us to identify the degree of specialization of each region in tourism, and to analyse its impact in the share of workers with fixed-term contracts. Results show that the highest tourism specialization of the region decreases the share of workers with fixed-term contracts, after isolating the particularities of the different tourism activities. It seems that this low-quality characteristic disappear with the development of the sector in some regions.

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Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa11p1811.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa11p1811
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  1. repec:ilo:ilowps:389649 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth, 1998. "Training and Labour Market Flexibility: Is There a Trade-off?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 36(4), pages 521-536, December.
  3. Alison L. Booth & Marco Francesconi & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Temporary Jobs: Stepping Stones Or Dead Ends?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages 189-213, June.
  4. Bentolila, S. & Saint-Paul, G., 1995. "A model of labour demand with linear adjustment costs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 105-105, March.
  5. Clemente Polo & Elisabeth Valle, 2008. "A General Equilibrium Assessment of the Impact of a Fall in Tourism Under Alternative Closure Rules: the Case of the Balearic Islands," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 31(1), pages 3-34, January.
  6. Belau, Dirk. & Budlender, Debbie., 2006. "An introduction to labour statistics in tourism," ILO Working Papers 993896493402676, International Labour Organization.
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