Department of Sociology

David Pedulla - "New Scars for the New Economy? Gender and the Consequences of Non-Standard Employment Histories"

Thu, November 7, 2013 | CBA 4.324

12:30 PM

Millions of workers are currently employed in positions that deviate from the full-time, standard employment relationship. Little is known, however, about how histories of non-standard employment – part-time work, temporary agency employment, or skills underemployment – shape workers’ future labor market opportunities. Drawing on original field- and survey-experimental data, I examine three interrelated questions: 1) What are the consequences of having a non-standard employment history for workers’ future labor market opportunities?; 2) Are the consequences of non-standard employment histories different for male and female workers?; and 3) What mechanisms account for the consequences of having a non-standard employment history? Results from the field experiment demonstrate that a history of non-standard employment is as scarring for workers as a year of unemployment. However, the consequences of non-standard employment vary in important ways by whether the worker was employed in a part-time position, in a temporary agency, or in a job below his or her skill level as well as by the gender of the worker. The survey experiment provides evidence that non-standard employment histories shape employers’ perceptions of workers’ skills, competence, and commitment and that these perceptions largely account for the penalties faced by workers with histories of non-standard employment. Together, these findings shed new light on the consequences of changing employment relations for the distribution of labor market opportunities in the “new economy,” with important implications for workers’ economic security and career trajectories.

David Pedulla is currently a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at Princeton University, where he is pursuing a joint PhD in Sociology and Social Policy. His research interests include economic sociology, social stratification, race, gender, organizations, the sociology of work, and experimental methods. David's research agenda explores the consequences of the rise in non-standard, precarious, and contingent labor utilization, the mechanisms underlying racial discrimination in the labor market, and race and gender differences in job search processes. Prior to pursuing graduate study, David was a research associate at the Brennan Center for Justice, worked in the NYC Mayor's Office to assist in launching the city's innovative Center for Economic Opportunity, and served as an Emerson National Hunger Fellow.

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  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
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