December 2002

IZA DP No. 673: Labour as a Buffer: Do Temporary Workers Suffer?

published in: Gabriel Fagan, Francesco Paolo Mongelli and Julian Morgan (eds.), Institutions and Wage Formation in the New Europe, Edward Elgar 2003

In this paper, we investigate whether or not there is an equal opportunities dimension to regulating equal pay and conditions for temporary work. We develop a “buffer stock” model of temporary work that suggests a number of reasons why ethnic minorities and women may be more likely to be on fixed-term contracts than comparable white males. Using three different British datasets (a random representative survey of households and two data sets of specific labour market groups), we then estimate the degree to which women and/or ethnic minorities are more likely to be on temporary contracts and estimate any associated wage differentials.