Is Job Quality Becoming More Unequal?
The authors examine trends in nonwage aspects of job quality in Europe. They focus on both the level and the dispersion of job quality. Theories differ in their predictions for these trends and for whether national patterns will converge. Data from the Fifth European Working Conditions Survey are used, in conjunction with earlier waves, to construct four indices of nonwage job quality: Work Quality, Work Intensity, Good Physical Environment, and Working Time Quality. Jobs are tracked from 1995 to 2010, across and within 15 European Union countries. The social corporatist countries had the highest Work Quality and lowest dispersion for all four indices. Work Quality and Work Intensity each rose in several countries, and Working Time Quality rose in most. The dispersion of Working Time Quality, Work Intensity, and Good Physical Environment each fell in many countries, and there was little sign of national divergence.