Employee Attitudes, Earnings and Fixed-Term Contracts: International Evidence

Sarah Brown, John G Sessions

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34 Citations (SciVal)


We explore the relationship between employee attitudes, earnings and fixed-term contracts using data from the British Social Attitudes Survey and International Social Survey Programme. We find that workers employed under such contracts receive significantly lower earnings than their permanent contract counterparts, even after controlling for a plethora of personal and job characteristics. This may be indicative of wage discrimination against fixed-term contract employees. Our results also allude to possible asymmetries in the role of education across this two-tier system, with educational attainment playing a more prominent signaling role in the case of "permanent" contract employees. We also find significant evidence of attitudinal effects, with workers employed on permanent contracts more likely to be both satisfied and secure with their job, but also more likely to find work stressful and exhausting and, perhaps as a consequence, to engage in absence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-317
Number of pages22
JournalReview of World Economics/Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • Personnel Economics
  • Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects (M520)
  • Promotions (M510)
  • Wage Differentials (J310)
  • Labor Contracts (J410)
  • Firm Employment Decisions
  • Wage Level and Structure


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