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Are fixed-term jobs bad for your health? A comparison between Western Germany and Spain

  • Gash, Vanessa
  • Mertens, Antje
  • Romeu Gordo, Laura

In this paper we use panel data to analyse the health effects of fixed-term contract status on men and women in western Germany and Spain. This paper asks whether the changes in the employment relationship due to employment law liberalisation have altered the positive health effects associated with employment (Goldsmith et al. 1996; Jahoda 1982). Using contract type information on switching between unemployment and employment we analyse whether transitions to different contracts have different health effects. We find that unemployed workers show positive health effects at job acquisition, and also find the positive effect to be smaller for workers who obtain a fixed-term job. We also establish surprising differences by gender and country, with women less likely to report positive health effects at job acquisition. For western Germany, this was found to be a function of the dual burden of paid and unpaid care within the home.

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Paper provided by Institute of Management Berlin (IMB), Berlin School of Economics and Law in its series Working Papers with number 27.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:imbwps:27
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.mba-berlin.de/index.php?id=10&L=1

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  1. Goldsmith, Arthur H. & Veum, Jonathan R. & William Darity, Jr., 1996. "The impact of labor force history on self-esteem and its component parts, anxiety, alienation and depression," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 183-220, April.
  2. Susan N. Houseman, 2001. "Why employers use flexible staffing arrangements: Evidence from an establishment survey," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 149-170, October.
  3. Booth, Alison L. & Francesconi, Marco & Frank, Jeff, 2000. "Temporary Jobs: Stepping Stones or Dead Ends?," IZA Discussion Papers 205, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Brendan Burchell, 1999. "The Unequal Distribution of Job Insecurity, 1966-86," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 437-458.
  5. Namkee Ahn, & Juan F. Jimeno & Arantza Ugidos, . "“Mondays at the sun”: Unemployment, Time Use, and Consumption Patterns in Spain," Working Papers 2003-18, FEDEA.
  6. Begoña Alvarez & Daniel Miles, . "Gender Effect on Housework Allocation: Evidence from Spanish Two-Earner Couples," Studies on the Spanish Economy 114, FEDEA.
  7. Laura Romeu Gordo, 2006. "Effects of short- and long-term unemployment on health satisfaction: evidence from German data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(20), pages 2335-2350.
  8. Schwefel, Detlef, 1986. "Unemployment, health and health services in German-speaking countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 409-430, January.
  9. Andrew Clark, 2001. "Unemployment As A Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," DELTA Working Papers 2001-17, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  10. Theodossiou, I., 1998. "The effects of low-pay and unemployment on psychological well-being: A logistic regression approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 85-104, January.
  11. Juan F. Jimeno & Luis Toharia, 1993. "The effects of fixed-term employment on wages: theory and evidence from Spain," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 17(3), pages 475-494, September.
  12. Rodriguez, Eunice, 2002. "Marginal employment and health in Britain and Germany: does unstable employment predict health?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 963-979, September.
  13. Vivian H. Hamilton & Philip Merrigan & Éric Dufresne, 1997. "Down and out: estimating the relationship between mental health and unemployment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(4), pages 397-406.
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