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Decent Work and The Quality of Work and Employment

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  • Green, Francis

Abstract

This review examines the concept of the quality of work and employment (QWE), including both 'Decent Work' and the narrower concept of 'job quality'. The key axiom is that 'quality' relates to the extent and manner in which working conditions meet people's needs from work. The review emphasises the multi-disciplinary nature of the topic. It discusses the concept's objective character, its relationship with well-being, and its link with productivity. Important measurement issues are considered, including cost, international comparability, the choice of how many indices, the treatment of inequality and the problem of discipline insularity. Some theories of the antecedents of QWE imply universal trends, while others predict differentiation across countries and regions, attributable to labour market institutions and policy. The effects on well-being and health are studied in several disciplines, including a substantial research programme in psychology. Summary trends in Europe and distributions of job quality are presented for context, including gender gaps. This description shows gradual improvement in the physical environment of work and in working time quality over the decade from 2005. Yet the distribution of job quality in several domains is not at all closely related to a country's GDP. The review concludes with a discussion of job quality policy making, and frames the ongoing research agenda.

Suggested Citation

  • Green, Francis, 2021. "Decent Work and The Quality of Work and Employment," GLO Discussion Paper Series 817, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:817
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    job quality; well-being; wages; insecurity; working time; work intensity; skills; discretion; social environment; physical working conditions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions

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