EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Flexibility or certainty? The aggregate effects of casual jobs on labour markets

Rachel Scarfe

Edinburgh School of Economics Discussion Paper Series from Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh

Abstract: There is much debate about the extent to which governments should regulate labour markets. One discussion concerns casual jobs, where firms do not need to guarantee workers certain, fixed, hours of work and instead "call-up" workers as and when needed. These jobs, sometimes known as "zero-hours", "contingent" or "on-demand", provide flexibility for firms to change the size of their workforce cheaply and quickly and for workers to choose whether to supply labour in every period. This flexibility comes at the expense of certainty for both firms and workers. In this paper I develop a search and matching model incorporating casual jobs, which I use to evaluate the effect of labour market policies on aggregate outcomes. I find that a ban on casual jobs leads to higher unemployment, but also to higher production and aggregate worker utility. I also consider the effect of a higher minimum wage for casual jobs. I find that the effects are limited. These results are due to an offsetting mechanism: although higher wages lead to higher unemployment, as firms offer more full-time jobs, the number of workers actually called-up to work increases.

Keywords: unemployment; welfare; minimum wages; contingent work; ondemand work; policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E24 J21 J48 J64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 49
Date: 2019-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dge and nep-mac
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.econ.ed.ac.uk/papers/id294_esedps.pdf

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:edn:esedps:294

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Edinburgh School of Economics Discussion Paper Series from Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh 31 Buccleuch Place, EH8 9JT, Edinburgh. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Research Office ().

 
Page updated 2024-06-17
Handle: RePEc:edn:esedps:294