Temporary employment boom in Poland – a job quality vs. quantity trade-off?

16 June 2017

Between 2002 and 2015, temporary employment in Poland more than doubled. Poland became the country with the highest share of temporary jobs in the EU. In this paper we study this process from the job quality vs. job quantity perspective. We analyse gaps between temporary and permanent workers in six dimensions of jobs quality, adopting measures proposed by the OECD and Eurofound. The gaps in earnings quality, job security and work scheduling quality were the most pronounced. Job quality has improved for both groups of workers but the gaps have not closed completely. Firms in Poland prefer temporary contracts because of lower firing cost, tax wedge and wages. We use a stylised labour demand model to quantify the upper bound of a potential job creation effect due to lower labour costs incurred by temporary contracts. We find that this effect doesn’t exceed 4% of dependent employment in 2015. We cannot rule out that the net employment effect was 0. Our findings show that even if cheaper, temporary contracts might have induced some job creation, workers suffered from lower job quality in several dimensions.

keywords: job quality, temporary employment, segmentation
JEL codes: 
publication year: 2017
language: english
Publications category: 
publishing series: IBS Working Paper
publication number: 04/2017
ISSN: 2451-4373
Additional information:

We thank Jan Gromadzki and Aneta Kiełczewska for their excellent research assistance. We thank Lucas Ronconi as well as the participants of Jobs and Development Conference in Washington, D.C., and the IZA/OECD/World Bank/UCW Workshop “Job Quality in Post-transition, Emerging and Developing Countries” for their insightful comments. This paper was financially supported by the Network for Jobs and Development initiative under the auspices of the World Bank. The usual disclaimers apply. All errors are our own.

Projects related to this publication:

Warsaw School of Economics, IZA

Institute for Structural Research (IBS)

Instytut Badań Strukturalnych

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