Socio-economic risks of atypical employment relationships: Evidence from the German labour market

In this article, I examine the impact of atypical working arrangements on both objective and subjective dimensions of social inequality. The analysed types of atypical employment are fixed-term contracts, temporary agency work, and part-time employment, respectively. It is argued that these working arrangements are not homogeneous with respect to their socio-economic consequences, because they modify different aspects of the standard employment relationship. In order to investigate the effects of these types of employment, I use data from the German Socio-Economic Panel 2001–2005 on non-self-employed respondents. The results show that fixed-term contracts and agency work (being forms of external flexibility) have more severe negative socio-economic consequences than part-time employment (being a form of internal flexibility). Given that weak labour market groups face an increased risk of holding temporary jobs, the empirical findings clearly indicate the substantial impact of atypical employment on the extent and the structure of social inequality


Author(s) Johannes Giesecke
Language English
Year of publication 2009
Journal European Sociological Review

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