[Journal:] Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research [ISSN:] 2510-5027 [Volume:] 42 [Year:] 2009 [Issue:] 3 [Pages:] 234-251
While previous research on temporary employment has shown that certain labour market groups are more likely than others to enter this kind of employment, there has been scant research on the question concerning to what extent these allocation patterns have changed over time. Against the background of pervasive structural and institutional changes which have affected the West German labour market since the beginning of the 1990s, there are reasons to believe that allocation patterns have changed as well. However, on a theoretical level there are different views regarding the quality of these changes. Whereas some scholars argue that social inequality has been exacerbated along the existing lines of social division, others maintain that risks are becoming less and less socially structured. To evaluate this question empirically, we use data from the German Mikrozensus for the period from 1989 to 2005. The analysis reveals first of all that, on the aggregate level, the overall proportion of temporary employment has increased only slightly during that period; secondly, the results show that especially those individuals belonging to groups that already had a weak labour market position have been allocated increasingly to temporary jobs; thirdly, contrary to the thesis of a de-structuration of social inequality, the findings reveal no decline in the overall importance of 'classical' determinants of temporary employment relationships.