IZA DP No. 1610: Your Money or Your Life: Changing Job Quality in OECD Countries
published in: British Journal of Industrial Relations, 2005, 43 (3), 377-400
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.