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Featured article: The impact of temporary employment on productivity

Recent papers in the economic literature emphasise that the use of temporary contracts (TE) could have a detrimental effect on productivity. However, there are different reasons to believe that the impact of TE might not be homogeneous across sectors. In this article, we study the impact of TE on productivity growth and, in particular, we wonder if it differs according to sectors’ skill intensity. Our data set is an industry-level panel of European countries that allows to divide sectors according to the skill intensity. Our main result is that TE has a negative impact on productivity growth, but it is more damaging in skilled sectors. While an increase of 10 percentage points of the share of TE in skilled sectors would decrease labour productivity growth of about 1–1.5%, in unskilled sectors the decrease would be of 0.5–0.8%. This result is robust to different skill intensity indexes and productivity measures, as well as to the sample composition. We also discuss policy implications of this result for labour market regulation.

By Lisi and Malo (2017)

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The Journal for Labour Market Research is a journal in the interdisciplinary field of labour market research. As of 2016 the Journal publishes open access. The journal follows international research standards and strives for international visibility. With its empirical and multidisciplinary orientation, the journal publishes papers in English language concerning the labour market, employment, education/training and careers. Papers dealing with country-specific labour market aspects are suitable if they adopt an innovative approach and address a topic of interest to a wider international audience. The journal is distinct from most others in the field, as it provides a platform for contributions from a broad range of academic disciplines. The editors encourage replication studies, as well as studies based on international comparisons. Accordingly, authors are expected to make their empirical data available to readers who might wish to replicate a published work on request.

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John T. Addison, University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA
David Autor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA
Hans-Peter Blossfeld, European University Institute, Florence, Italy
Alison Booth, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Hannah Brückner, New York University, Abu Dhabi
Colin Crouch, Warwick Business School, Coventry, England
Steven J. Davis, University of Chicago, USA
Christian Dustmann, University College London, United Kingdom
Gøsta Esping-Andersen, University of Barcelona, Spain
Michael Lechner, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
Karl Ulrich Mayer, Leibnitz Association, Berlin, Germany
Kathleen Thelen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA

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Journal for Labour Market Research is affiliated with Institute for Employment Research (IAB)


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