July 22, 2022
Jonathan Latner, our postdoctoral research assistant, and Nicole Saks, our former student assistant, published a new SECCOPA paper reviewing the literature on the effect of temporary employment on wages in the SSCI listed Journal of European Social Policy.
In Europe, the consequences of temporary employment are at the centre of a social policy debate about whether there is a trade-off between efficiency and equity when deregulating labour markets. However, despite decades of research, there is confusion about the consequences of temporary employment on wage and career mobility. It is often stated that the consequences are ‘mixed’. We review the literature with a focus on synthesizing the evidence and analysing the theories. Our review shows that we know a lot more than is often understood about the consequences of temporary employment on wage and career mobility. We create clarity by organizing the evidence by geographic region, demographic group and reference group. While outcomes vary across these factors, there is less variation within these factors. At the same time, we know a lot less than is often understood about the mechanisms through which temporary employment affects mobility. Some common theories are not well specified in their application to temporary employment. We create new opportunities for development in the field by increasing the scope of the debate about some questions and decreasing the scope of the debate about other questions.