Documentos de trabajo

Job Quality in the European Policy Debate: Conceptual and Methodological Considerations

Por: Agnieszka Piasna, Brendan Burchell, Kirsten Sehnbruch, Nurjk Agloni


Job quality is the precondition for achieving welfare policy goals of social inclusion, as well as the foundation of functioning social security systems. In recent decades, both the academic and institutional literature has emphasisedits importance, yet both European Union (EU) and national employment policies continue to address the quantity rather than the quality of jobs.This article explores the reasons for which job quality and related concepts have been side-tracked in the current EU employment and social policy process. Our analysis attempts to generate clearer parameters for understanding and measuring what constitutes a good quality job,so that such measurements can effectively guide policy formulation and comparative analysis. We argue that what is needed for placing concerns about job quality high on the EU policy agenda is methodological, conceptual and theoretical clarity in defining what job quality is and from whose perspective it should be assessed.

Measuring the Quality of Employment (QoE) in Central America: A multidimensional approach

Por: Verónica Arriagada, Rocio Méndez, Kirsten Sehnbruch, Mauricio Apablaza, Pablo González


Although the Quality of Employment (QoE) is a much-neglected issue in developing countries and especially in Latin America, there is an increasing awareness of its importance. This renewed interest has promoted efforts to create labour surveys and measures that could broaden the understanding of the employment changing profile in the Region. This new interest faces the challenge of creating a conceptually accurate, empirically plausible and policy-relevant measurement. To addresses these challenges, this article builds on the Alkire and Foster’s (2011) method to propose a composite QoE Index. Then, using the QoE Index, we explore its outcomes across six Central American countries based on a labour survey dataset, the Encuesta Centroamericana sobre Condiciones de Trabajo y Salud (ECCTS). 

This paper aims to reflect the complex and multidimensional nature of the quality of employment by addressing key dimensions identified in the literature and promoted by different stakeholders. The QoE Index results enable us to rank the selected countries according to their different performance; with Guatemala and Honduras presenting poor results in the overall measurement, El Salvador and Nicaragua in the middle range of achievement, and Panama and Costa Rica with the highest performance. The QoE Index presents several advantages as it delivers a measure which is simple to estimate and easy to understand. This Index is also decomposable in subgroups and according to each dimension and indicator contributions to the overall quality of employment results. At the same time, this work comprises a discussion of the limitations regarding data availability to extend this methodology to other countries. We also debate on the advantages of the index in comparison to other indicators.