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Working Papers

  • Dieckhoff, M., M. Gebel, N. Steiber und D. Zaccharia:
    Varieties of life course patterns. The role of institutions in shaping labour market careers in Europe.
    EQUALSOC State-of-the-Art Report, 2009.
    Abstract: The present state-of-the-art report reviews the literature that is concerned with the explanation of cross-country differences in labour market careers. Taking a life course perspective, the review consists of three sub-sections, each of which deals with a different phase in an ideal-typical life course that consists of three consecutive phases: labour market entry, the main working phase and labour market exit. Young labour market entrants often face difficulties with accessing employment after leaving school. Yet, there are vast country-differences. Section 2 discusses the main theoretical expectations with regard to institutional effects on the patterns of transition from school-to-work and presents selected empirical results on the topic, focusing on comparative studies, which test the influence of institutional factors on school-to-work transitions and the quality of the first job in multi-level quantitative analyses. Section 3 reviews the literature attempting to explain the increase in non-standard work and reports on central findings from previous empirical work that has investigated institutional effects on the prevalence and distribution of precarious work in the population. In particular, it discusses the demographic distribution of job insecurity, unemployment and non-employment (according to different education and age groups) and how such distributions vary across countries. The final section 4 reviews existing research on the institutional and macro-economic factors that create cross-country differences in older people’s labour supply decisions and in consequence marked cross-national differences in rates of early retirement. The focus is on the role played by institutional factors (e.g. flexibility and generosity of retirement schemes, employment protection legislation) and macro-economic conditions in the retirement decision in Europe.

  • Lindemann, Kristina:
    Ethnic Inequalities in Labour Market Entry in Estonia: The Changing Influence of Ethnicity
    and Language Proficiency on Labour Market Success
    Working Papers - Mannheim Centre for European Social Research No 125.
    Mannheim: 2009.
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to find out how ethnicity and Estonian language skill affect labour market entry in Estonia. This paper focuses on the quality of the first job of ethnical Estonians and non-Estonians in the years 1991–1997 and 2001–2006. The main question is to what extent ethnicity and Estonian language skill influence the occupational attainment of youth in their first job. The data to be used are taken from Estonian Labour Force Surveys conducted in the years 1995, 1997 and 2002–2006. Results from linear regression analysis indicate that although the investment in country-specific human capital gives some advantages to non-Estonian youth, still Estonian language proficient non-Estonians are less successful labour market entrants compared to ethnic Estonians. Thus both ethnicity and Estonian language skill have a significant effect on the occupational status in the first job. Although education is important in shaping labour market opportunities of the youth, it appears that returns from education differ between ethnic groups. In addition, the investment in Estonian language skills gave higher returns in terms of occupational status in the period 1991–1997, whereas in the years 2001–2006 Estonian proficient non-Estonians reached considerably lower occupational status in their first job than Estonians.

  • Baranowska, Anna and Michael Gebel:
    Temporary Employment in Central- and Eastern Europe: Individual Risk Patterns and Institutional Context.
    Working Papers - Mannheim Centre for European Social Research No 106.
    Mannheim: 2008.
    Abstract: This article uses data from the European Union Labour Force Survey (EULFS) 2004 for a comparative analysis of individual and contextual determinants of temporary employment contracts in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. Descriptive analyses reveal that temporary contracts are more often involuntary by nature and associated with relatively lower occupational status than permanent contracts in CEE countries compared to Western European average. Individual-level logistic regressions show that the general determinants of temporary employment are rather similar in both parts of Europe, but vary in their strength between countries. To evaluate the impact of macro-level influences on these cross-country differences in temporary employment risks, we focus on the risk of young people as one group of potential labour market outsiders. In general, young persons have a higher temporary employment risk, but their relative risk varies between countries. We use multi-level models implemented in a two-step estimation procedure and try to explain this cross-country variation with the intervening role of institutional influences under control of macro-structural conditions. Comparing CEE countries and Western European countries shows that neither employment protection of regular contracts nor its interaction with the level of employment protection of temporary contracts affects the young people’s risk. Instead, we find a positive association between collective bargaining coverage as a measure of insider-outsider cleavages and the relative temporary employment risk of young persons.

  • Horn, Daniel:
    A note on the importance of within country standardization when conducting
    multilevel analysis : An example of stratification and the educational inequality of opportunity
    Working Papers - Mannheim Centre for European Social Research No 104.
    Mannheim: 2007.
    Abstract: Most of the internationally comparable datasets are designed to be mean-comparable, i.e. the means (and high and low values, percentages…etc.) of the variables can be compared across countries. But it is less obvious that the standard deviations of the same variables are also comparable, or that the unit-movements (regression coefficients) are comparable at all. Thus when conducting multilevel analyses one must standardize the variables of interest within country in order for the regression coefficients to be comparable across countries; i.e. transfer the standard deviations to be the same in every country. Hence, the effort to obtain an additional unit on the variable becomes the same across countries. This paper uses a multilevel model on the PISA 2003 dataset to illustrate the size of the bias that occurs when one misses to standardize the variables. An example on the effects of stratifying educational institutions on the inequality of opportunity is presented

  • Horn, Daniel:
    Age of Selection Counts: A Cross-country Comparison of Educational Institutions.
    Working Papers - Mannheim Centre for European Social Research No 107.
    Mannheim: 2008.
    Abstract: In this paper I combine a theoretically developed construction of the school to work transition litera-ture, namely the stratification and standardization dimensions of the education system, and the more data oriented inequality of opportunity research of the economics of education. I collect several possi-ble indicators for both dimensions to compare the countries: utilizing the PISA 2003 data and some other OECD sources I run multilevel analysis to test the effect of the collected country level stratifica-tion and standardization indicators on the inequality and on the effectiveness of education. Inequality of opportunity is indicated by the size of the parental background effect on the PISA literacy scores, while effectiveness is the literacy score adjusted for parental background and other individual charac-teristics. The results show that stratification associates strongly and positively with the inequality of educational opportunity, while standardization in general seems to enhance equality. I reject that stratification would increase effectiveness, and the association between standardization and effective-ness is not straightforward. The most robust finding of the study is that the early age of selection links closely with high inequality of opportunity.

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