Work Incentives and the Demand for Primary and Contingent Labor
34 Pages Posted: 1 Jan 2002 Last revised: 12 Mar 2010
Date Written: March 1991
This paper presents an incentive-based dual labor market model. Three implications of the model are emphasized. First, in equilibrium, there is an excess supply of workers to primary jobs. Second, when demand is uncertain, firms may choose a mix of primary and contingent workers to perform the same job, even when these workers are perfect substitutes in production. Third, firms prefer to hire into primary jobs workers with strong job attachment and workers whose preferences lead them to prefer long work hours. We argue that industries with high proportions of part-time workers will tend to have large concentrations of contingent workers. The empirical finding that the wages and benefits of full-time workers are significantly reduced in industries with large concentrations of part-time workers appears consistent with this hypothesis.
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