Temporary Employment, Informal Work and Subjective Well-Being Across Europe: Does Labor Legislation Matter?

  • Tatiana KarabchukEmail author
  • Natalia Soboleva
Research Paper


Taking the individual data from the European Social Survey of 2004 and 2010, the authors of this paper investigate how employment type (permanent, temporary or informal employment) affects subjective well-being in respect to employment protection legislation across European countries. Our study outcomes are in line with previous research disclosing the negative impact of being temporally or informally employed on subjective well-being. The additional contribution of this study is the rigorous analysis of how employment protection legislation (EPL) moderates this effect by applying the multilevel modeling approach for 27 countries. In countries with strict EPL temporary and informal workers are significantly less satisfied with their lives than permanent employees. In countries with liberal EPL no significant decreasing effect from temporary or informal employment on people’s subjective well-being was found.


Subjective well-being Temporary work Informal employment Employment protection legislation Multilevel modeling Europe 



The authors appreciate valuable comments from Prof Michael Gebel (University of Bamberg), Prof Ronald Inglehart (University of Michigan), Prof Arne Kalleberg (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill), Prof Hermann Duelmer (University of Cologne) and Dr Francesco Sarracino (STATEC).


The article was prepared within the framework of the Basic Research Program of the HSE University Basic Research Program and funded by the Russian Academic Excellence Project ‘5-100’.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UAE UniversityAl Ain CityUAE
  2. 2.Laboratory for Comparative Social ResearchNational Research University Higher School of EconomicsMoscowRussia

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