Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #786

Labour Market Participation and Atypical Employment over the Life Cycle – A Cohort Analysis for Germany

by Ronald Bachmann, Rahel Felder and Marcus Tamm

RWI, 12/2018, 28 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-914-8 DOI: 10.4419/86788914



We use data from the adult cohort of the National Education Panel Study to analyse the
changes in the employment histories of cohorts born after World War II and the role
of atypical employment in this context. Younger cohorts are characterised by acquiring
more education, by entering into employment at a higher age, and by experiencing
atypical employment more often. The latter is associated with much higher employment
of women for younger cohorts. A sequence analysis of employment trajectories
illustrates the opportunities and risks of atypical employment: The proportion of
individuals whose entry into the labour market is almost exclusively characterised by
atypical employment rises significantly across the cohorts. Moreover, a substantial part
of the increase in atypical employment is due to the increased participation of women,
with part-time jobs or mini-jobs playing an important role in re-entering the labour
market after career breaks.

JEL-Classification: J21, J42, J81

Keywords: Atypical employment; regular employment; cohort differences; life cycle analysis; sequence analysis