OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers

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.

English, French

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

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.


JEL: J65: Labor and Demographic Economics / Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers / Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings; 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
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