Temporary Jobs and Job Search Effort in Europe

39 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2009

See all articles by Lawrence M. Kahn

Lawrence M. Kahn

Cornell University - School of Industrial and Labor Relations; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

Using longitudinal data on individuals from the European Community Household Panel (ECHP) for eight countries during 1995-2001, I investigate temporary job contract duration and job search effort. The countries are Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. I construct a search model for workers in temporary jobs which predicts that shorter duration raises search intensity. Calibration of the model to the ECHP data implies that at least 59% of the increase in search intensity over the life a long term temporary job occurs in the last period. I then estimate regression models for search effort that control for human capital, pay, local unemployment, gender, and time and country fixed effects, I find that workers on temporary jobs indeed search harder than those on permanent jobs. Moreover, search intensity increases as temporary job duration falls, and at least 80% of this increase occurs on average in the shortest duration jobs. These results are robust to disaggregation by gender and country and to individual fixed effects. These empirical results are noteworthy, since it is not necessary to assume myopia or hyperbolic discounting in order to explain them, although the data clearly also do not rule out such explanations.

Keywords: job search, temporary jobs

JEL Classification: J21, J23

Suggested Citation

Kahn, Lawrence M., Temporary Jobs and Job Search Effort in Europe. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4020. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1351184

Lawrence M. Kahn (Contact Author)

Cornell University - School of Industrial and Labor Relations ( email )

265 Ives Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-3901
United States
607-255-0510 (Phone)
607-255-4496 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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