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Taking lemons for a trial run: does type of job exit affect the risk of entering fixed-term employment in Germany?

Biegert, Thomas and Kühhirt, Michael (2018) Taking lemons for a trial run: does type of job exit affect the risk of entering fixed-term employment in Germany? European Sociological Review, 34 (2). pp. 184-197. ISSN 0266-7215

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Identification Number: 10.1093/esr/jcy003

Abstract

A central argument for the deregulation of employment contracts is that fixed-term contracts boost employment of jobseekers with uncertain productivity by giving employers a tool to screen such applicants over a longer period of time before permanent hire. We test this proposition by comparing the risk of entering fixed-term employment for individually laid-off workers with that for individuals who have left their previous job for other reasons. This strategy is based on the assumption that in the German context individual lay-offs create uncertainty about jobseekers’ productivity. We use data on work exits and subsequent labour market re-entry of the prime-age workforce in Germany from waves 2000–2013 of the Socio-Economic Panel. Our results show that the risk of fixed-term employment is substantively smaller after voluntary job exits but reveal only a small and statistically insignificant risk difference between individual lay-offs and workplace closures after adjusting for differences in socio-economic background and characteristics of the previous job. These findings challenge the view that employers use fixed-term contracts as an instrument to screen specific groups of workers whose productivity is highly uncertain, at least with regard to recent career disruptions.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://academic.oup.com/esr
Additional Information: © 2018 The Authors
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2018 14:27
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2019 06:43
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/87334

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