Does Fixed-Term Employment Have Spillover Effects on the Well-Being of Partners? : A Panel Data Analysis for East and West Germany

Faculty/Professorship: Methods of Empirical Social Research  
Author(s): Scheuring, Sonja  ; Voßemer, Jonas; Baranowska-Rataj, Anna; Tattarini, Giulia
Title of the Journal: Journal of Happiness Studies
ISSN: 1389-4978
Publisher Information: Dordrecht [u.a.] : Springer Science + Business Media B.V
Year of publication: 2021
Issue: Published: 19 January 2021
Pages: 21
Language(s): English
Postprint erschienen: Bamberg, Otto-Friedrich-Universität, 2021
DOI: 10.1007/s10902-020-00353-2
This paper answers three research questions: What is the impact of fixed-term employment on the well-being of partners? How do these spillover effects differ by gender, and do gender differences depend on socialization in East or West Germany? Do individual well-being, perceived job insecurity, and financial worries mediate the spillover effects? We use longitudinal data from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), 1995–2017, and a sample of heterosexual couples living together, to estimate fixed-effects panel regression models. In contrast to previous studies, we consider asymmetric effects of entering and leaving fixedterm contracts by focusing on transitions from unemployment into fixed-term and fixed-term into permanent jobs. Confirming previous research on spillover effects of unemployment, we find that fixed-term re-employment increases partners’ well-being and that these effects are larger in case of re-employment by men and partners’ socialization in West Germany. We also show that transitions from fixed-term to permanent jobs do not substantially increase the well-being of partners with little differences by gender and place of socialization. While the spillover effect of re-employment is mediated by changes in the well-being of the individual re-entering the labor market, changes in job insecurity and financial worries due to transitions from fixed-term to permanent jobs are too small to produce meaningful effects on well-being. Although fixed-term contracts have been referred to as a new
source of inequality, our results show that they cause little difference in the well-being of individuals and their partners and that finding a job matters more than the type of contract.
GND Keywords: Deutschland ; Befristeter Arbeitsvertrag ; Partnerschaft ; Zufriedenheit
Keywords: Fixed-term employment · Well-being · Spillover effects · Panel data · Mediation analysis · Germany
DDC Classification: 300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology  
RVK Classification: MS 1930   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
Release Date: 5. July 2021