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Measuring Labour Market Security and Assessing its Implications for Individual Well-Being


  • Alexander Hijzen


  • Balint Menyhert



This paper provides a comprehensive discussion of the labour market security dimension of the OECD’s job quality framework, thereby complementing the analysis in Chapter 3 of the OECD Employment Outlook 2014 and Chapter 5 of the OECD Employment Outlook 2015. It makes three main contributions. First, it provides an in-depth discussion of the definition and measurement of labour market security. and discusses in detail the various methodological issues surrounding its measurement. Second, it offers a comprehensive statistical portrait of labour market security across countries, socio-economic groups and over time. Third, it investigates the statistical relationship between labour market insecurity and subjective measures of well-being. Importantly, we find that the risk of unemployment has a detrimental effect on the well-being of employed workers, and that this reflects to an important extent the risk of staying unemployed for a prolonged period of time. Policymakers should therefore focus not only on reducing the level of unemployment, but also on speeding up unemployment turnover at a given level of unemployment. Unemployment insurance also mitigates the adverse effect of unemployment risk, and particularly that of long-term unemployment, on the well-being of the employed. Ce papier propose une discussion complète autour de la sécurité du marché de travail, une des dimensions du nouveau cadre pour la qualité d’emploi de l’OCDE. Il complète ainsi l’analyse du Chapitre 3 de Perspectives de l’emploi de l’OCDE 2014 et celle du Chapitre 5 de Perspectives de l’emploi de l’OCDE 2015. Notre papier apporte trois contributions principales. Premièrement, il propose une discussion approfondie de la définition et la mesure de la sécurité sur le marché du travail. Deuxièmement, il donne un portrait statistique complet de la sécurité sur le marché du travail dans différents pays, groupes sociodémographiques ainsi qu’au fil du temps. Troisièmement, il étudie la relation statistique entre la sécurité sur le marché du travail et des mesures subjectives de bien-être. Un des résultats les plus importants est que le risque de chômage a des effets négatifs sur le bien-être des personnes employées, ce qui reflète à un degré important le risque de rester au chômage pour une période prolongée. Les décideurs politiques devraient donc, non seulement se concentrer sur la réduction du niveau de chômage, mais aussi sur l’accélération de la rotation des chômeurs à tout niveau de chômage. L’assurance chômage quant à elle attenue aussi les effets négatifs du chômage, et surtout du chômage de longue durée.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Hijzen & Balint Menyhert, 2016. "Measuring Labour Market Security and Assessing its Implications for Individual Well-Being," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 175, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaab:175-en

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    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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