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Poor-quality employment: who is deprived in our labour markets?

Sehnbruch, Kirsten, Apablaza, Mauricio and Foster, James (2024) Poor-quality employment: who is deprived in our labour markets? LSE Public Policy Review, 3 (2). ISSN 2633-4046

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Identification Number: 10.31389/lseppr.104


Job quality is becoming a higher policy priority among governments in both developing and advanced economies. In public policy and economics a ‘good’ job tends to mean a well-paid job. Other social sciences, however, recognise that employment is a multidimensional phenomenon that requires careful conceptualisation and measurement to account for other employment conditions that also have a significant impact on the wellbeing of workers. These include job stability, types of contracts, and autonomy levels. This paper summarises recent research on this topic, addresses issues of data availability, and presents empirical evidence from both Latin America and Europe to show how multidimensional deprivations or clustered disadvantages in the labour market can be measured by means of a dedicated measure of poor-quality employment. It illustrates how, in both regions, this concept better captures deprivation in labour markets than simpler indicators of wages or informal employment, which are unidimensional and do not reflect the fact that many workers are deprived in more than one aspect of their employment conditions. This conclusion should matter to public policy, which tends to focus on different aspects of deprivation separately, if at all, without considering that multidimensional deprivations compound each other and thus affect the well-being of workers very negatively.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author(s)
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J2 - Time Allocation, Work Behavior, and Employment Determination and Creation; Human Capital; Retirement > J21 - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
D - Microeconomics > D6 - Welfare Economics > D60 - General
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2024 15:33
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 04:21

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