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Your Money or Your Life: Changing Job Quality in OECD Countries

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  • Andrew E. Clark

Abstract

Job quality may usefully be thought of as depending on both job values (how much workers care about different job outcomes) and the job outcomes themselves. Here, both cross-section and panel data are used to examine changes in job quality in OECD countries during the 1990s. Despite rising wages and falling hours of work, overall job satisfaction is either stable or declining. These movements are neither due to changes in the type of workers nor because of changes in their job values. Some pieces of evidence point to stress and hard work as being strong candidates for what has gone wrong with employees' jobs. We find evidence of increasing inequality in a number of job outcomes. Some groups of workers have done better than others: the young and the highly educated have been insulated against downward movements in job quality, and there is tentative evidence that trade unions may have protected their members against adverse job outcomes. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2005.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by London School of Economics in its journal British Journal of Industrial Relations.

Volume (Year): 43 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Pages: 377-400

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Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:43:y:2005:i:3:p:377-400

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  1. Alex Bryson & Lorenzo Cappellari & Claudio Lucifora, 2003. "Does Union Membership Really Reduce Job Satisfaction?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0569, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Clark, A.E., 1995. "Job Satisfaction and Gender: Why Are Women so Happy at Work?," DELTA Working Papers 95-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  3. David G. Blanchflower & Richard Freeman, 1997. "The attitudinal legacy of Communist labor relations," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(3), pages 438-459, April.
  4. Matthias Benz & Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Being Independent is a Great Thing: Subjective Evaluations of Self-Employment and Hierarchy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(298), pages 362-383, 05.
  5. Clark, Andrew E. & Senik, Claudia, 2004. "The (Unexpected) Structure of "Rents" on the French and British Labour Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 1438, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Andrew E. Clark, 2003. "Unemployment as a Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 289-322, April.
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  8. Clark, Andrew E., 2001. "What really matters in a job? Hedonic measurement using quit data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 223-242, May.
  9. Richard B. Freeman, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," NBER Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, . "Job Satisfaction, Wage changes and Quits: Evidence from Germany," Economics and Finance Discussion Papers 98-06, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
  11. A I Petrescu & R Simmons & S Bradley, 2004. "The impacts of human resource management practices and pay inequality on workers' job satisfaction," Working Papers 542602, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
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  13. Joni Hersch & Joe A. Stone, 1990. "Is Union Job Dissatisfaction Real?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4).
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  15. Bauer, Thomas K., 2004. "High Performance Workplace Practices and Job Satisfaction: Evidence from Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1265, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Francis Green, 2001. "It's Been A Hard Day's Night: The Concentration and Intensification of Work in Late Twentieth-Century Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 39(1), pages 53-80, 03.
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  18. John S. Heywood & W. S. Siebert & Xiangdong Wei, 2002. "Worker sorting and job satisfaction: The case of union and government jobs," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(4), pages 595-609, July.
  19. George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen, 1988. "Job Switching and Job Satisfaction in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 495-594.
  20. repec:lan:wpaper:3619 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Green, Francis & McIntosh, Steven, 2001. "The intensification of work in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 291-308, May.
  22. Francis Green & Nicholas Tsitsianis, 2004. "Can the Changing Nature of Jobs Account for National Trends in Job Satisfaction?," Studies in Economics 0406, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  23. Georgellis, Yannis & Sessions, John & Tsitsianis, Nikolaos, 2007. "Pecuniary and non-pecuniary aspects of self-employment survival," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 94-112, March.
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