Article Title

Temporary Contracts and Work–Family Balance in a Dual Labor Market


A well-established finding in the literature is that self-employment enables mothers to accommodate work and family needs better than when they are engaged in organizational employment. With this result in mind, the authors investigate within a dual system of job protection if women under temporary contracts face greater work–family conflicts than those under permanent contracts. The authors use data on women's work and fertility histories from the Spanish Continuous Sample of Working Histories to analyze whether women under temporary contracts transition to self-employment upon motherhood more than those who are under permanent contracts. Analyses show that being under a temporary contract increases women’s likelihood of transitioning to self-employment upon childbirth. Supplementary analyses show that this is partly the result of voluntary transitions and not an employer's decision to terminate a temporary contract upon motherhood. Overall, these findings reveal a hidden cost of temporary contracts: the greater difficulty in balancing work and family.

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