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Monitoring quality in work: European Employment Strategy indicators and beyond

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  • Lucie DAVOINE
  • Christine ERHEL
  • Mathilde GUERGOAT-LARIVIERE

Abstract

The study of job quality has known major developments in the academic field over the last ten years, especially in economics and industrial relations studies. The growing interest for job satisfaction data among labour economists has generated a debate about the preeminent factors explaining workers' judgements on the quality of their jobs. Besides, many studies question the trend to the decline of job satisfaction observed in national and European surveys, despite rising real wages, which could be explained, among other factors, by some kind of work intensification and its impact on work-life balance. Job quality has also become an economic policy issue, both at international level through the definition of "decent work" by the ILO, and at European level through the inclusion of so-called "quality in work" indicators in the European Employment Strategy in 2001. These definitions involve a range of dimensions, like wage level, social security and representation rights, type of contracts, training opportunities...which can be influenced by labour market and social policies.Nevertheless, these international indicators are rarely used in the literature, and apart from few empirical studies, very little is known about job quality from a comparative perspective.This article tries to fill this gap by implementing, discussing and completing European indicators. The empirical enquiry is based on hypotheses derived from both the literature on job quality, and from usual results from comparative labour market research. We draw policy oriented conclusions, concerning both the European Employment Strategy, in particular the relevant indicators to monitor quality in work, and the relationships between national institutions and the quality of employment.
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  • Lucie DAVOINE & Christine ERHEL & Mathilde GUERGOAT-LARIVIERE, 2008. "Monitoring quality in work: European Employment Strategy indicators and beyond," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 147(2-3), pages 163-198, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:intlab:v:147:y:2008:i:2-3:p:163-198
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