Social Indicators Research

, Volume 137, Issue 1, pp 203–230 | Cite as

Employment Quality: Are There Differences by Types of Contract?

  • José María Arranz
  • Carlos García-Serrano
  • Virginia Hernanz


The aim of this article is to build and measure an employment quality index that meets four conditions: it is simple and understandable; it enables measurement over a long time period; it can be updated on an annual basis; it is comparable between groups of workers. Our index is quantified for different workers depending on the type of contract they have. In particular, we distinguish between those who hold an open-ended contract, those with temporary contracts hired directly by companies and those working through a temporary help agency. Furthermore, the index is measured on a ‘gross’ and a ‘net’ basis, i.e. taking into account the potential “composition effect”. Data from the Spanish and Italian Labour Force Survey are used to carry out the measurement. Our findings show that job quality remained fairly stable during the period of analysis (2006–2014), with a slight increase at the beginning and a minor decrease later on, and workers holding an open-ended contract fared the best and those with temporary contracts hired directly by companies fared the worst.


Employment quality index Types of contract Temporary help agencies Composition effect 

JEL Classification

J41 J81 



The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Spanish Association of Temporary Help Agencies (Asociación de Empresas de Trabajo Temporal, ASEMPLEO), for which a study on job quality was carried out. This article is based partially on that study. Thanks are extended to the editor of the journal and three reviewers, to seminar and conference participants, and to professor Kant A. Manyanas. Obviously, the opinions and analyses are the sole responsibility of the authors and not those of ASEMPLEO. The usual disclaimer applies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad de AlcaláAlcalá de HenaresSpain

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