Contact person: Lia Pacelli
Temporary work represents a growing share of the employed workforce in many European countries. Several reasons stand behind this development. From the employers perspective, the availability of temporary jobs is tantamount to a reduction of wage and firing costs, which is particularly valuable in an uncertain environment where ordinary jobs are characterized by high employment protection. Temporary jobs can be attractive from the labour supply standpoint too: they may allow a reduction of the unemployment duration and contribute to a decline in the unemployment rate of the weakest segments of the labour force. In addition, temporary jobs may represent a port of entry to more stable career paths and be useful for reaching a better combination of work and family life, although the literature seems to be less unanimous on this last point. However, people in such flexible working arrangements may be at risk of experiencing precarious career paths and, at the extreme, exclusion from the labour market. All over Europe, temporary jobs are often associated with poorer labour conditions. All this reinforces the concerns that, overall, temporary jobs may be lower quality jobs. Furthermore, the literature does not support the claim that workers choose a flexible career, made of repeated temporary employment spells. Hence an important question becomes "are temporary jobs a port of entry toward open ended contracts or do the workers run the risk of being trapped into temporary jobs?"
From a slightly different perspective, the availability of temporary and often cheaper jobs, whose expected duration is often short, may reduce the investment in human capital made on the job both by employers and employees. Has this an impact on firm performance? On its R&D activity? On its ability to compete on the foreign markets?
At the macroeconomic level, what is the net total effect of the introduction of temporary work on employment rate and on GDP growth?
Projects in this area aim at contributing to this debate, providing fresh empirical evidence both on Italy and in a cross-country perspective. Co-financed projects "Employment security and employability: A contribution to the flexicurity debate"
European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 2008
“Giovani e nuove forme di lavoro. Un’indagine sugli utenti dei CPI. Percorsi di carriera, stabilizzazione e precarietà dei giovani iscritti ai CPI della Provincia di Torino.”
Provincia di Torino, 2007 “Le nuove forme di lavoro in Italia e in Piemonte: nuove opportunità o discriminazione? Aspetti di mercato del lavoro ed implicazioni in tema di previdenza, governance e rapporti sociali dell’utilizzo dei contratti di lavoro atipici in Italia"
Fondazione CRT sui fondi del bando “Progetto Alfieri”, 2005-2007 Ongoing research projects
1. Do temporary jobs shorten unemployment duration?
• Fabio Berton e Pietro Garibaldi (2006)
Workers and firm sorting into different jobs, LRR wp n. 51
2. Are temporary contracts a port of entry toward more stable career paths?
• Fabio Berton, Francesco Devicienti e Lia Pacelli (2008)
Temporary contracts: port of entry, trap or just unobserved heterogeneity? LRR wp n. 79
• Fabio Berton, Francesco Devicienti e Lia Pacelli
Contract duration and occurrence dependence (work in progress)
3. Entry patterns on the labour market
• Bruno Contini e Ambra Poggi
Do regular jobs protect workers from future unemployment traps? (work in progress)
• Contini, B. e Poggi, A. (2006) Employability of young Italian males after a jobless
period, 1989-1998?, LRR wp n. 48