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Evolution of Instability on the French Labour Market During the Last Thirty Years

Romain Aeberhardt, Claire Marbot
Crest-Insee, France

Employment stability on the French labour market has been rarely studied although it has become the first determinant of earnings. Our 30-year longitudinal matched employer-employee database allows us to describe its evolution by studying the duration of employment spells. The analysis of survival rates and the modeling of the duration of the spells clearly show that instability has increased in the last 30 years. Moreover there is a variety of situations depending on the characteristics of the employees. Individuals under 25 are both the most unstable and those who have experienced the highest rise in instability. Executives are the most stable employees, and after a period of convergence between socio-occupational categories, the difference has become as large as it was before. In a second part, we aim at taking into account unobserved heterogeneity at both firm and individual levels with a double fixed effects model. Our estimates suggest in particular that the younger the cohort, the more their individual instability and the more frequently they work in firms which do not keep their employees long. Besides this, office clerks and service workers are the less stable socio-occupational category in terms of individual stability, while skilled and unskilled workers are those who work in the firms which keep their employees the least.

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