August 6-10, 2021
We are very thankful to the ASA (American Sociological Association) 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting “Emancipatory Sociology: Rising to the Du Boisian Challenge” committee for having us and two SECCOPA presentations within the Labor and Labor Movements Roundtable (International Labor Issues and Temporary and Precarious Work) of our Ph.D. students.
Sonja Scheuring presented a current SECCOPA paper together with Michael Gebel which examines both immediate and longer-term consequences of fixed-term employment trajectories on subjective well-being.
Utilizing the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) from 1994 to 2018, they apply sequence analysis methods to define five-year employment sequences that best fit common theoretical concepts. Thus, the treatment definition is dynamic and longer-term. The stable and permanent trajectory characterizes the standard employment career that begins in and remains in permanent employment. The stepping stone trajectory includes individuals who start in temporary employment and then move to permanent employment. The entrapment trajectory includes individuals who start in fixed-term employment and remain in it or even become unemployed. The long-term unemployment trajectory includes individuals who are unemployed for five consecutive years. They combine the results of the sequence analysis with fixed-effects growth curve models to examine outcome dynamics both in parallel with the development of trajectories and up to three years later. First results of the SECCOPA presentation by Sonja Scheuring emphasize the advantages of fixed-term employment regarding well-being when compared to unemployment and no disadvantages when compared to permanent employment contracts.
Sophia Fauser presented joint work with Michael Gebel on “Investigating the wage penalty of temporary workers across 30 countries using LIS data: How much and for whom does the institutional context matter”. In this study, they investigate the hourly wage gap between temporary and permanent employees across 30 countries using cross-sectional data of the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS). They find consistent wage disadvantages for temporary workers, which generalizes to all included countries. Across all countries, the wage gap is on average higher for workers in high-skilled and medium-skilled occupations compared to those in low-skilled occupations, as well as for older workers in comparison to younger workers. Relating the revealed cross-country differences to institutional characteristics such as employment protection legislation, trade union density, and national minimum wage regulations, the results reveal that higher union coverage decreases the wage gap between contract types. In contrast, they do not find any statistically significant relationship with other labor market institutional factors such as national minimum wage setting and employment protection legislation (except for low-skilled workers) that are often seen as important institutional factors regarding temporary employment.
Even though unfortunately the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic did not allow us to meet in person, it was a great experience to present our work in this great, international, and inspiring atmosphere. We are very thankful for the interest in our research and especially for the paper discussants, roundtable chairs, and presiders for raising important questions and having insightful discussions. Moreover, we thank the organizers of the ASA 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting for doing such a good job!