Well begun, half done? Long-term effects of labour market entry in the Netherlands, 1950-2000

Bram Steijn*, Ariana Need, Maurice Gesthuizen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)
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This article looks at the career effects of different entries into the Dutch labour market: as unemployed, non-standard or permanent worker. Using the bridge versus trap analogy, it is investigated whether or not a 'bad' career start will have long-term negative consequences.To do this, event history analysis is used.The results show that non-standard work has no negative consequences with respect to later career unemployment or upward and downward mobility. However, certain negative effects are associated with unemployment at the career start. Moreover, this effect is larger when the duration of the period of unemployment is longer. Several other hypotheses - about macro-economic effects and about the effects for groups with a weak labour market position - are refuted. Overall, the data show that early career unemployment can work as a trap, but that early career non-standard work can work as a stepping stone towards a better labour market position.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-472
Number of pages20
JournalWork, employment and society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Contingent employment
  • Flexible employment contracts
  • Inequality
  • Labour market
  • Non-standard work
  • Unemployment

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