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Measuring More than Money

The Social Economics of Job Quality Rafael Muñoz de Bustillo, Enrique Fernández-Macías and José-Ignacio Antón, University of Salamanca, Spain and Fernando Esteve, Autónoma-University of Madrid, Spain
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.
Extent: 288 pp
Hardback Price: $128.00 Web: $115.20
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 978 1 84980 359 5
Availability: In Stock
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Labour Economics
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Economics of Social Policy
  • Labour Policy
Mainstream economics traditionally restricts the analysis of the labour market to purely monetary factors, such as earnings, leaving aside many other characteristics that might affect the desirability of certain jobs. By contrast, this unique volume explores the alternatives and problems faced by researchers in quantifying and measuring a broader notion of job quality. The contributors expertly explore the different approaches to measurement and analyze both the advantages and disadvantages of the various methods within a European context.

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.

Based on solid theory and data, this book will prove essential for postgraduate students, researchers and academics of labour economics, sociology, industrial relations, and European studies as it presents a coherent discussion of the concept and components of job quality, and of the difficulties of measuring it. The book also proposes a new aggregate index of job quality that can contribute to the evaluation of European employment policies and performance that will appeal to European policy circles.
‘This highly readable and authoritative book on the social economics of job quality comes at a critical time as policy-makers, employers and unions seek to rebuild jobs after the economic crisis. The team of authors are leading experts on European employment trends and policy and have produced an excellent study that proposes a new index of job quality for Europe. Given its depth and breadth of coverage of theory and already existing indicators, the book is likely to be a landmark study. Readers will enjoy the engaging review of past and present works of classical political economy and behavioural economics and will benefit from the expert critical appraisal of more than 20 existing proposals for job quality indices. Most importantly, the authors design and test a new European Job Quality Index that provides a reliable and coherent measure of five critical dimensions of the character of contemporary jobs. Measuring More than Money is a much-needed analysis that will interest both specialists and anyone concerned about job quality. The proposed indicator deserves to be adopted and will enable policy-makers to make good their commitment to sustainability and equality across Europe by monitoring and responding to a good job quality measure.’
– Damian Grimshaw, University of Manchester, UK

‘Is a job a job? If you looked at unemployment data, you would think so. But economists since Adam Smith know that jobs differ in the quality, difficulty or pleasure of doing them. Thus, they tend to assume that markets would equalize wage per unit of difficulty of a job, and that they do not need to worry about intrinsic job quality. Rafael de Bustillo shows that this wrong and that in an era of plenty for many (although not for all), the challenge is to create high-quality jobs and to find ways of comparing them in terms of fulfillment afforded to workers. This book addresses a new and growing field of study: for it certainly matters if we are happy or unhappy in an activity that takes almost one-third of our lives and often defines who we are.’
– Branko Milanovic, World Bank and University of Maryland, US

‘This is a book every labour economist or sociologist interested in job quality should read. It provides a well written overview of the depth and breadth of this field, presenting a systematic review of this complex multidimensional concept and discussing more than twenty of the indicators currently in use. The volume goes beyond the current literature by developing a sound, empirically tested Job Quality Index for the European Union. It was definitely a pleasure reading this volume.’
– Kea Tijdens, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. What is a Good Job? Accounting for the Different Dimensions Shaping Job Quality 3. Measurement Problems and Data Sources 4. Mapping the Terrain: Review of Existent Indicators of Job Quality 5. The Construction of a European Job Quality Index 6. Making Concepts Work: Job Quality in Europe 7. Conclusions References Index