'Atypical Work' and Compensation

43 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2005

See all articles by John T. Addison

John T. Addison

University of South Carolina - Moore School of Business - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Christopher J. Surfield

Saginaw Valley State University

Date Written: January 2005


Atypical work, or alternative work arrangements in U.S. parlance, has long been criticized for providing poorly-compensated employment. Although one group of atypical workers (contractors) seems to enjoy a wage premium, our cross-section results from the CPS and NLSY for the better-known category of temporary workers point to a negative wage differential of some 7-12 percent. It emerges that much of the latter disparity stems from unobserved worker heterogeneity (accounting for which supports a wage advantage for contracting work). Turning to fringes, the appearance in cross section of a potentially large deficit in atypical worker health benefits is again reduced after accounting for permanent unobserved individual heterogeneity. But on this occasion the reduction is very modest. Further, there is now some indication that the wage advantage of contract workers partly compensates for their reduced access to such benefits.

Keywords: atypical/contingent work, alternative work arrangements, wage differentials, employer-related health insurance

JEL Classification: J31, J33, J4

Suggested Citation

Addison, John T. and Surfield, Christopher J., 'Atypical Work' and Compensation (January 2005). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1477. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=659181

John T. Addison (Contact Author)

University of South Carolina - Moore School of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

The Francis M. Hipp Building
1705 College Street
Columbia, SC 29208
United States
803-777-7400 (Phone)
803-777-6876 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://mooreschool.sc.edu/moore/economics/profiles/addison.htm

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

Christopher J. Surfield

Saginaw Valley State University ( email )

7400 Bay Road
University Center, MI 48710-0001
United States

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