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

  • Clark, Andrew E.


    (Paris School of Economics)

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 over the 1990s. Despite rising wages and falling hours, overall job satisfaction is either stable or declining. These movements are not due to changes in the type of workers, nor to changes in their job values. A number of 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 higher-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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1610.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: May 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: British Journal of Industrial Relations, 2005, 43 (3), 377-400
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1610
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. 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).
  2. Clark, Andrew E. & Senik, Claudia, 2006. "The (unexpected) structure of "rents" on the French and British labour markets," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 180-196, April.
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  4. Bruno S. Frey & Matthias Benz, 2003. "Being Independent is a Great Thing: Subjective Evaluations of Self-Employment and Hierarchy," CESifo Working Paper Series 959, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Freeman, Richard B, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 135-41, May.
  6. Clark, A.E., 1995. "Job Satisfaction and Gender: Why Are Women so Happy at Work?," DELTA Working Papers 95-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  7. Mitchel Y. Abolafia (ed.), 2005. "Markets," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2788, 10.
  8. 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.
  9. Andrew Clark, 2001. "Unemployment As A Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," DELTA Working Papers 2001-17, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  10. Francis Green & Nicholas Tsitsianis, 2004. "Can the Changing Nature of Jobs Account for National Trends in Job Satisfaction?," Studies in Economics 0406, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  11. E. Paul Durrenberger, 2005. "Labour," Chapters, in: A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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  13. 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.
  14. Alex Bryson & Lorenzo Cappellari & Claudio Lucifora, 2003. "Does Union Membership Really Reduce Job Satisfaction?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0569, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  15. John S. Heywood & W. S. Siebert & Xiangdong Wei, 2002. "Worker Sorting and Job Satisfaction: The Case of Union and Government Jobs," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(4), pages 595-609, July.
  16. David G. Blanchflower & Richard B. Freeman, 1997. "The Attitudinal Legacy of Communist Labor Relations," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(3), pages 438-459, April.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Joni Hersch & Joe A. Stone, 1990. "Is Union Job Dissatisfaction Real?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4).
  20. Francis Green, 2003. "The Rise and Decline of Job Insecurity," Studies in Economics 0305, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  21. 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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  23. repec:lan:wpaper:3621 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. 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.
  25. Green, Francis & McIntosh, Steven, 2001. "The intensification of work in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 291-308, May.
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