Contingent Employment and Labour Market Pathways: Bridge or Trap?

34 Pages Posted: 22 May 2017

See all articles by Duncan McVicar

Duncan McVicar

Queen's University Belfast; Queen's University Belfast - Queen's Management School

Mark Wooden

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Yin King Fok

University of Melbourne; University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research

Abstract

The debate over whether contingent (and typically more precarious) employment acts as a bridge to permanent employment, or as a trap, has tended to focus on transitions rather than longer-run pathways. This approach cannot accurately identify indirect pathways from contingent to permanent employment, and nor can it identify 'trap' pathways involving short spells in other states. It also fails to distinguish between those experiencing contingent employment as a 'blip' and those with longer spells. This article employs a different approach involving sequence analysis. Exploiting longitudinal data for Australian, evidence for the co-existence of pathways that correspond to 'bridge' and 'trap' characterisations of contingent employment is found. Further, in the case of casual employment these two types of labour market pathways are roughly equally prevalent, although for some groups – in particular women, those with low educational attainment, and those with a disability – 'traps' are more likely than 'bridges'.

Keywords: casual employment, contingent employment, temporaryemployment, pathways, segmented labour markets, sequenceanalysis

JEL Classification: J41, C38

Suggested Citation

McVicar, Duncan and Wooden, Mark and Fok, Yin King, Contingent Employment and Labour Market Pathways: Bridge or Trap?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10768. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2971384

Duncan McVicar (Contact Author)

Queen's University Belfast ( email )

25 University Square
Belfast, BT7 1NN
Ireland

Queen's University Belfast - Queen's Management School

Riddel Hall
185 Stranmillis Road
Belfast, BT9 5EE
United Kingdom

Mark Wooden

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Yin King Fok

University of Melbourne ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Australia

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

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