English title: Perceived Job Quality: Autonomy and Job Security within a Multi-Level Framework

Author(s): Ingrid Esser - Karen M. Olsen -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2012


In this study, we examine the relationship between institutions of labour market and welfare states and two central aspects of job quality: autonomy and job security. Drawing on theoretical frameworks from varieties of capitalism and a power resource approach, we examine whether macro-level features can explain country differences in perceived autonomy and job security. In multi-level analyses, we combine institutional data with data from the European Social Survey (ESS), which contains information on 13,414 employees from 19 countries. We report three main findings: first, we find high autonomy in the Nordic countries and low autonomy and job security in transition countries; second, the institutional features—union density and skill specificity—are positively associated with autonomy; third, unemployment rate is the most important factor in explaining country differences in perceived job security. Our findings suggest that the power of workers and their skill specificity are important in explaining cross-country differences in autonomy. The study shows that a multi-level approach may help explain how institutions shape employment outcomes.

Volume: 28

Issue: 4

From page no: 443

To page no: 454

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1093/ESR/JCR009

Journal: European Sociological Review

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