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

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Gash, Vanessa & Mertens, Antje & Romeu Gordo, Laura, 2006. "Are fixed-term jobs bad for your health? A comparison between Western Germany and Spain," Working Papers 27, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute of Management Berlin (IMB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:imbwps:27
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. 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.
    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.
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    6. 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.
    7. Namkee Ahn, & Juan F. Jimeno & Arantza Ugidos, "undated". "“Mondays at the sun”: Unemployment, Time Use, and Consumption Patterns in Spain," Working Papers 2003-18, FEDEA.
    8. 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.
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    11. 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.
    12. Schwefel, Detlef, 1986. "Unemployment, health and health services in German-speaking countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 409-430, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chris Dawson & Michail Veliziotis & Gail Pacheco & Don J Webber, 2014. "Is temporary employment a cause or consequence of poor mental health?," Working Papers 20141409, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.

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