Essays on temporary work agencies and the economic analysis of law

University dissertation from Umeå : Umeå universitet

Abstract: This thesis consists of an introductory chapter and four self-contained papers on temporary work agenciesand the economic analysis of law.Paper [I] adds to the theoretical literature on the incentives of Temporary Work Agencies (TWAs). Using aprincipal-agent model with hidden action to model two main types of contracts between a TWA and a ClientFirm (CF), the TWA is shown to potentially act against the best interest of the CF when helping to fill avacant position. The results also suggest that the adverse effect of the incentive misalignment is larger whenthe worker is going to be leased instead of hired by the CF. However, this effect could potentially be offsetby introducing a sufficient level of competition among the TWAs.Paper [II] uses individual-level data on young adults to estimate how the probability of being employed inthe Swedish temporary agency sector is affected by whether a partner or other family member has experienceof temporary agency work. The results show a significant effect from all peer groups of a magnitude thatcorrespond to the other most influential control variables. We also find that this cohort of the agency sectorhas a relatively high education level compared to the regular sector, and that there are predominately menworking in thissector.Paper [III] analyses possible effects on total employment, and the distribution between agency work andregular contracts as a consequence of the implementation of the EU Temporary and Agency Workers Directive in Sweden. The analysis is based on changes in the compensation to agency workers in a calibratedextension of a Mortensen-Pissarides search model. Even though the results suggest a negative net effect ontotal employment, the implementation is shown to increase (utilitarian) welfare, and an increased transitionprobability from the agency sector into regular employment will increase welfare even further.Paper [IV] focuses on settlement probabilities for different types of representation within the Swedish LabourCourt. Empirical estimates on a set of unjust dismissal cases show that private representatives are generallyless likely to reach a settlement than their union counterparts. The settlement probabilities converge following court-mandated information disclosure, which suggests that information asymmetry is an importantfactor in explaining differences in settlement behaviour. Privately instigated negotiations are therefore ingeneral insufficient for making cases with non-union representation reach the same settlement rate as caseswith union representation.

  This dissertation MIGHT be available in PDF-format. Check this page to see if it is available for download.