Polarisation of non-standard employment in Europe : exploring a missing piece of the inequality puzzle
Faculty of Social Sciences. Sociology
Social indicators research: an international and interdisciplinary journal for quality-of-life measurement. - Dordrecht
, p. 171-189
University of Antwerp
The rise in non-standard employment inspired many scholars to study the social consequences of these new employment forms. Most research focusses on individuals working non-standard. With the increase in dual earnership, however, we need a household perspective. This study therefore develops the notion of household non-standard employment and applies a polarisation index to examine the distribution of non-standard work over dual earner couples. This polarisation index compares the actual rate of household non-standard employment with a counterfactual rate when non-standard employment would be randomly distributed over households. Drawing on EU-SILC 2011, we define non-standard workers as individuals who worked during the previous year, but not full-year full-time. The results indicate that the levels of polarisation vary considerably across countries. Because especially women do not work full-time, polarisation is highly negative since it is less likely to find clustering of non-standard work within households. This pattern is dominant in Continental European countries, but also observable in Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon countries. On the other hand, in Eastern and Southern European countries, non-standard employment is concentrated in some households, mainly because of the inability of its members to work full-year. Common characteristics of household members known to be associated with non-standard employment, like age and education, explain little of the levels of non-standard employment polarisation.