Measuring More than Money
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Measuring More than Money

The Social Economics of Job Quality

Rafael Muñoz de Bustillo, Enrique Fernández-Macías, José-Ignacio Antón and Fernando Esteve

Job quality is a crucial link between the economy and well-being. This original book proves that it can and should be measured, proposing a theoretically based multidimensional ‘Index of Job Quality’ that is tested in the EU member States. The index proves particularly useful to measure the differences in job quality by country, occupation, gender and age.
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Chapter 2: What is a Good Job? Accounting for the Different Dimensions Shaping Job Quality

Rafael Muñoz de Bustillo, Enrique Fernández-Macías, José-Ignacio Antón and Fernando Esteve


2.1. THE DIFFERENT APPROACHES FOR MEASURING JOB QUALITY Job quality is necessarily a multidimensional concept. The general or overall quality of a job is the sum of multiple aspects, affecting both the employment relationship and work itself, that have an impact on workers’ well-being (Skalli et al. 2008). This multidimensional nature of job quality makes the development of a single index or a system of indicators more difficult, as before such development is necessary to define what aspects should be taken into consideration and their overall impact on job quality. In this first section, we discuss three different possible strategies to perform such a task. The first strategy starts from the recognition of the difficulty of properly identifying all the aspects affecting job quality and their relative importance, and proposes a shortcut for such a task based on the level of job satisfaction reported by workers in surveys. The second approach is based on the utilization of workers’ surveys to directly select the elements of job quality considered important by individuals themselves. The third and last strategy takes a completely different approach to the issue of job quality, using the theoretical work of economists, sociologists and other social scientists on job quality as a route map to select the relevant dimensions of job quality. 2.1.1. Subjective Approach I: Job Satisfaction as an Indicator of the Quality of Jobs The complexity of the task of defining job quality, even without considering the difficulties related with the measurement of the chosen variables,...

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