The consequences of contingent employment

Postdoctoral project
Project period:  2014 - 2019


The aim of this project is to describe and explain the consequences of contingent employment for workers and organizations.

European economies have been experiencing turbulent economic conditions in recent decades. To serve the organizations’ demand for labor flexibility and employees' need of economic and employment security, the 2001 and 2010 European Employment Guidelines advocated European nations to adapt the so-called Danish flexicurity model. Flexicurity promotes liberalizing regulations on contingent (e.g. fixed-term, agency, and contract) employment contracts and employment protection arrangements in order to achieve flexibility; and at the same time this model advocates active labor market policy (e.g., training) to foster the employability of workers and facilitate transitions between jobs. On average, 14 percent of employees in Europe are contingent workers, a figure which in several countries is even above 20 percent, and seen especially among younger workers. Even though flexicurity is considered by many as a sustainable trade-off, most contingent workers experience lower job satisfaction, and lower job and employment security than permanent workers. Permanent workers in jobs with a high number of contingent workers, however, experience similar negative outcomes. The wake of the ‘flexible employment relation’ therefore raises concerns of an increasing polarization of the labor force: a group of insiders with secure and high-quality jobs versus a group of outsiders with temporary, insecure, and low-quality jobs. The flexicurity model particularly emphasizes the partnering role of employers in achieving a favorable balance between flexibility and security. However, to what extent European employers are ‘partners’ is yet unknown, since very few studies consider organizational employment strategies and their outcomes for workers within different national policy contexts. This research project integrates individual, organizational and national policy levels to better understand the causes and consequences of the employment of contingent workers for workers' well-being and wages.

Economic, Institutional, and Political Development and Intergenerational Social Mobility in Hungary between 1850 and 2005

Doctoral dissertation project
Project period: 2009 - 2014

The project aims to study the changes in intergenerational social mobility over time, and its macro level determinants. The question whether social mobility increases with modernization is an often studied problem in sociology. Most empirical research, however, investigated mobility trends in already industrialized societies. As a result, little is known about mobility before and during industrialization. This project aims to study historical changes in intergenerational mobility in Hungary using church marriage registers from a sample of municipalities between 1850 and 1950, and stratification and mobility surveys up until 2005. We attempt to relate changes in mobility patterns to the local context. Municipal-level demographic and development indicators will be used to explain changes in mobility over time and differences between municipalities. In addition, the long time span and the historical context of Hungary allow us to relate changes in the institutional and political framework to changes in intergenerational social mobility.

The Hungarian Historical Social Mobility file

Project period: 2009-2011

The Hungarian Historical Social Mobility file is a large-scale micro and macro level database of digitized historical marriage registers from Hungary, collected as part of the Towards Open Societies research project of the Utrecht University. The database contains around 82.000 marriage records, registered between 1850 and 1950 in Hungary. Records contain the occupational information of the spouses, their parents, and the witnesses, information on age of marriage, birthplace and residence of the spouses and their parents.This database has the following unique features which make it valuable for historical sociological and demographic research.

1. Uniquely among historical micro-level data collection projects, we used a probability sample to select the localities in which church marriage records were digitized. The sampling frame covers all regions and municipalities of the territory of present day Hungary. 66 towns and villages were selected, and books from every local parish were recorded, from all denominations.

2. The database contains information from all large regions of Hungary, and represents municipal size and grade of industrialization within these regions. Regional and municipal level cross-sectional and time series comparisons are possible with the data.

3. Municipal-level aggregate time series of population size and other demographic and industrial characteristics complement the marriage records, extracted from Hungarian censuses and other sources since 1850s. The file is also supplemented with weighting schemes to the micro data which adjust to the regional and municipal population size in different periods.

A short description of the sampling method, and a table with sample size per municipality and denomination can be downloaded below. A full documentation of the data collection is work in progress, I will post it on this website soon.

Zoltán Lippényi,
Jan 17, 2013, 8:26 AM
Zoltán Lippényi,
Jan 17, 2013, 9:33 AM
Zoltán Lippényi,
Jan 18, 2013, 4:09 AM
Zoltán Lippényi,
Jan 18, 2013, 4:19 AM
Zoltán Lippényi,
Jan 17, 2013, 8:28 AM