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Flexibility processes and social inequalities at labor market entry and in the early career : a conceptual paper for the flexCAREER project

Flexibilisierungsprozesse und soziale Ungleichheit beim Einstieg in den Arbeitsmarkt und beim Karrierebeginn : ein konzeptionelles Papier für das flexCAREER-Projekt
[working paper]

Blossfeld, Hans-Peter; Buchholz, Sandra; Bukodi, Erzsébet; Ebralidze, Ellen; Kurz, Karin; Relikowski, Ilona; Schmelzer, Paul

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Corporate Editor Universität Bamberg, Fak. Sozial- und Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Abstract "Continuous full-time work is becoming less frequent in modern societies. Instead, flexible forms of employment such as part-time work, fixed-term contracts, and self-employment as well as phases of unemployment are gaining importance. These trends are supposed to be more pronounced at labor market entry, leading to a longer entry process and increasing difficulties in becoming established in the labor market. However, there are vast differences between countries with regard to forms of labor market flexibility and the degree of uncertainty faced by young people. This working paper provides a theoretical framework for the empirical studies within the flexCAREER research program. The aim of flexCAREER is to study the consequences of employment flexibility strategies on labor market entries and early careers as well as their impact on structures of social inequality in a cross-country perspective. We explain the reasons behind the rise in employment flexibility and develop hypotheses with special regard to nation-based institutional differences. In particular, we describe what role institutions such as the education system, employment relations, and welfare regimes play in determining the consequences of employment flexibility strategies. We focus on the institutional contexts of Great Britain, the USA, Germany (East and West), the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, and Hungary; these are the countries under study within the project. The hypotheses in this working paper concern the following aspects: 1. the phase of labor market entry in terms of a) the duration of search for the first job and b) the quality of this first job (with regard to the flexibility of the employment contract and the 'adequacy' of the job with respect to the employee's educational qualification). 2. In view of the early career we outline our expectations in terms of a) the risk of unemployment, b) the chances of re-entering the labor force when unemployed (e.g., with regard to the duration of unemployment until finding a new job), c) upward and downward mobility, d) the chances of leaving precarious work at the beginning of the career, and e) the risk of making a transition into a precarious form of employment." (author's abstract)
Keywords flexibility; job entrant; labor market; unemployment; part-time work; autonomy; term contract; composition of personnel; employment situation; employment system; social inequality
Classification Labor Market Research
Method applied research; descriptive study
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
City Bamberg
Page/Pages 33 p.
Series flexCAREER Working Paper, 1
Status Published Version
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
data provider This metadata entry was indexed by the Special Subject Collection Social Sciences, USB Cologne