Nonstandard Jobs in Taiwan: Traps or Bridges?

Saturday, June 25, 2016: 9:00 AM-10:30 AM
251 Dwinelle (Dwinelle Hall)
Jyh-Jer Roger Ko, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

    A segmented trend is emerging in global labor markets, with a line of demarcation found between standard and nonstandard workers. This trend paves the way to understanding of the link between nonstandard work and social inequalities. In this paper I look at differences in job mobility between standard and nonstandard workers in Taiwan to determine if they are the sources of labor market segmentation.

    Two arguments regarding the consequences of nonstandard work are found in the current literature. The entrapment hypothesis argues that nonstandard work either traps workers in nonstandard jobs or leads to unemployment. The bridge hypothesis claims that nonstandard work provides bridges to standard jobs.

    Somehow, such theories are seldom applied to analyze the situations of Asia countries. I would like to use Taiwan as a case to explore which theory fits better. I also hope this study can serve as a base for comparison and pave the way for comparative study regarding this issue among Asian countries.

    I used data from the 2008-2014 Manpower Utilization Quasi-Longitudinal Survey to determine which hypothesis is prevalent in Taiwanese labor markets. My findings support the entrapment hypothesis. Although labor market segmentation is reflected in differences in mobility pattern between standard and nonstandard workers, I also found heterogeneity within the nonstandard worker group.

Keywords: labor market segmentation, nonstandard worker, job mobility, the entrapment hypothesis, bridge hypothesis