The Social Economics of Job Quality
Chapter 3: Measurement Problems and Data Sources
3.1. PRELIMINARY REMARKS: PROBLEMS AND OPTIONS After reviewing the different theoretical approaches to job quality in the previous chapter, this one focuses on the methodological problems and options to be taken into consideration in the process of constructing an indicator (or system of indicators) of job quality. In the first section, we review several conceptual and technical problems that have to be confronted in the process of designing an indicator of job quality, and the different alternative solutions. Section 3.2 discusses how job quality interacts with other institutions like the Welfare State or family structure, collectively affecting workers’ well-being. The existence of such interrelations implies that the same job attribute can have very different implications across countries in terms of workers well-being, depending on the types of social provisions or family backing existing in each country. Finally, section 3.3 presents a summary of the main sources of information currently available for the measurement of the main dimensions of job quality identified in Chapter 2. 3.1.1. Results versus Procedures Although most measures of job quality focus on outcomes (the actual levels of employment security, autonomy and so on), it is possible also to develop measures based on evaluating the existence of procedures and mechanisms that facilitate or ensure that the conditions of work are adequate. For instance, a procedural indicator of job quality could be whether there are channels of participation open for workers to determine their own working conditions, or whether there are safety standards in place, or whether there...
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