De Economist

, Volume 166, Issue 4, pp 503–534 | Cite as

The Surge in Short-Duration Contracts in Spain

  • Florentino Felgueroso
  • José-Ignacio García-Pérez
  • Marcel JansenEmail author
  • David Troncoso-Ponce


Until the outbreak of the recent economic and financial crisis, Spain was leading the ranking of countries with the largest share of temporary employees. During the crisis this share has fallen to its lowest level in decades, but this does not mean that working conditions in Spain have improved. The flow of new temporary contracts is larger than ever before. A particularly striking feature is the steep growth in the volume of fixed-duration contracts lasting less than a week or a month. We document these trends and analyse how this phenomenon has affected the transition from temporary to permanent employment.


Temporary jobs Great recession Dual labour markets 

JEL Classification

D92 G33 J23 


  1. Amuedo-Dorantes, C. (2000). Work transitions into and out of involuntary temporary employment in a segmented market: Evidence from Spain. International Labor Relation Review, 53–2, 309–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arranz, J. M., & Garca-Serrano, C. (2014). The interplay of the unemployment compensation system, fixed-term contracts and rehirings: The case of Spain. International Journal of Manpower, 35(8), 1236–1259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bentolila, S., Dolado, J. J., & Jimeno, J. F. (2008). Two-tier employment protection reforms: The Spanish experience. CESifo DICE Report 4/2008.Google Scholar
  4. Bentolila, S., Dolado, J. J., & Jimeno, J. F. (2012). Reforming an insider-outsider labour market: The Spanish experience. IZA Journal of European Labour Studies, 1, 4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bentolilla, S., García-Pérez, J. I., & Jansen, M. (2017). Are the Spanish long-term unemployed unemployable? SERIEs, 8, 1–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bover, O., Arellano, M., & Bentolila, S. (2002). Unemployment duration, benefit duration and the business cycle. The Economic Journal, 112, 223–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carrasco, R., & García Pérez, J. I. (2015). Employment dynamics of immigrants versus natives: Evidence from the boom-bust period in Spain, 2000–2011. Economic Inquiry, 53–2, 1038–1060.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. de Graaf-Zijl, M., van den Berg, G., & Heyma, A. (2011). Stepping stones for the unemployed: The effect of temporary jobs on the duration until (regular) work. Journal of Population Economics, 24(1), 107–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dolado, J. J., Ortigueira, S., & Stuchhi, R. (2016). Does dual employment protection affect TFP? Evidence from Spanish manufacturing firms. SERIEs, 7(4), 421–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Felgueroso, F., García-Pérez, J. I., & Jansen, M. (2017). Recent trends in the use of temporary contracts in Spain. Estudios sobre la Economía Española 2017/15, Fedea.Google Scholar
  11. Felgueroso, F., García-Pérez, J. I., & Jansen, M. (2018). La contratación temporal en España: nuevas tendencias, nuevos retos. Papeles de la Economía Española (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  12. García-Pérez, J. I. (1997). Las tasas de salida del empleo y el desempleo en España (1978–1993). Investigaciones Económicas, 21(1), 29–53.Google Scholar
  13. García-Pérez, J. I. (2008). La muestra continua de vidas laborales (MCVL): una guía de uso para el análisis de transiciones. Revista de Economía Aplicada, 16(E–1), 5–28.Google Scholar
  14. García-Pérez, J. I., Marinescu, I., & Vall Castello, J. (2016). Can fixed-term contracts put low skilled youth on a better career path? Evidence from Spain. NBER Working Paper Series, No. 22048 (forthcoming in Economic Journal).Google Scholar
  15. García-Pérez, J. I., & Muñoz-Bullón, F. (2011). Transitions into permanent employment in Spain: An empirical analysis for young workers. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 49(1), 103–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Güell, M., & Petrongolo, B. (2007). How binding are legal limits? Transitions from temporary to permanent work in Spain. Labour Economics, 14(2), 153–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Heckman, J. J., & Singer, B. (1984). A method for minimising the impact of distributional assumptions in econometric models for duration data. Econometrica, 52, 272–320.Google Scholar
  18. IMF. (2010). Unemployment recoveries during recessions and recoveries: Okun’s Law and beyond. World Economic Outlook, Ch. 3.Google Scholar
  19. Jenkins, S. (1995). Easy estimation methods for discrete-time duration models. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 57(1), 129–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rebollo-Sanz, Y., & García-Pérez, J. I. (2015). Are unemployment benefits harmful to the stability of working careers? The case of Spain. SERIEs—Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, 6(1), 1–41.Google Scholar
  21. van den Berg, G. J. (2001). Duration models: Specification, identification, and multiple durations. In J. J. Heckman & E. Leamer (Eds.), Handbook of econometrics (Vol. 5, pp. 3381–3460). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florentino Felgueroso
    • 1
  • José-Ignacio García-Pérez
    • 2
  • Marcel Jansen
    • 3
    Email author
  • David Troncoso-Ponce
    • 4
  1. 1.FEDEAMadridSpain
  2. 2.Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla and FEDEAMadridSpain
  3. 3.IZA, Fedea, Universidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  4. 4.Universidad Pablo de OlavideSevillaSpain

Personalised recommendations