OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers

ISSN :
1815-199X (online)
DOI :
10.1787/1815199x
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This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected labour market, social policy and migration studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.
 

Work, Jobs and Well-Being across the Millennium You or your institution have access to this content

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Author(s):
Andrew E. Clark
Publication Date
23 Mar 2009
Bibliographic information
No.:
83
Pages
39
DOI
10.1787/225358873078

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This paper uses repeated cross-section data ISSP data from 1989, 1997 and 2005 to consider movements in job quality. It is first underlined that not having a job when you want one is a major source of low well-being. Second, job values have remained fairly stable over time, although workers seem to give increasing importance to the more "social" aspects of jobs: useful and helpful jobs. The central finding of the paper is that, following a substantial fall between 1989 and 1997, subjective measures of job quality have mostly bounced back between 1997 and 2005. Overall job satisfaction is higher in 2005 than it was in 1989. Last, the rate of self-employment has been falling gently in ISSP data; even so three to four times as many people say they would prefer to be self-employed than are actually self-employed. As the self-employed are more satisfied than are employees, one consistent interpretation of the above is that the barriers to self-employment have grown in recent years.
JEL Classification:
  • J21: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
  • J28: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
  • J3: Labor and Demographic Economics / Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
  • J6: Labor and Demographic Economics / Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies
  • J81: Labor and Demographic Economics / Labor Standards: National and International / Working Conditions
  • L26: Industrial Organization / Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior / Entrepreneurship