Temporary Work in Coordinated Market Economies: Evidence from Front-Line Service Workplaces
The growing use of temporary contracts in Europe raises the question of whether long-term employment relations are eroding in coordinated market economies, where protective regulations are historically strong. This paper, using data from establishment-level surveys conducted in 2003–2005, examines the institutional and organizational factors that have shaped the extent of use of temporary contracts in call centers in six European countries: Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain, and Sweden. While differences in regulatory regimes appear to have influenced employer behavior in some cases, the exceptions are striking, as the countries with the most stringent restrictions on temporary workers were among the heaviest users of such workers. By contrast, firm-level strategies that retained work in-house and invested in work force skills and training were consistent predictors of the use of long-term contracts as opposed to temporary ones.