This paper explores the recent shifts in employment arrangements away from long-term employment contracts and internal labor markets towards outside contracting of labor in OECD countries. It examines the driving forces behind this phenomenon, focusing on the relationship with another important trend of the last few decades, namely the labor productivity slowdown. A comparison of U.S. and European institutional arrangements shows how very different labor markets have recently displayed similar patterns in the use of contracted out labor. This paper explains these similarities and reconciles them with very different patterns in hiring, firing, and quitting behavior observed in the two regions.
- Alternative employment arrangements
- Institutional factors