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Index of Volumes

VOLUME 141, NUMBER 4 2002/4


Special issue on socio-economic security


People's Security Surveys: An outline of methodology and concepts

Richard ANKER

Pioneered by the ILO in 2000, the People's Security Surveys (PSSs) embody a novel approach to assessing both actual and perceived security/insecurity in people's lives, particularly in relation to their work and livelihoods. Anker introduces the 13 surveys carried out to date and presents the underlying approach and contents of the PSS questionnaire. Eight dimensions of security/insecurity - income, labour market, skills, safety, etc. - are considered from four angles: actual, perceived, coping strategy, and distributional justice. The result is a high-definition snapshot of the respondent's real-life experience and concerns, which the PSS approach ultimately aims to factor into policy formulation.

Good jobs, bad jobs: Workers' evaluations in five countries

Joseph A. RITTER and Richard ANKER

What makes a "good job"? Who's got one? Do workers' perceptions of their jobs conform to the objective facts about those jobs? In order to find out, the authors analyse selected PSS data from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Hungary and Ukraine. Using a composite index covering pay, non-wage benefits, nature of work, autonomy/independence, opportunity for promotion, and opportunity for upgrading skills, they examine the relationships between workers' overall job satisfaction and key variables that range from personal characteristics (e.g. sex, age, education) to perceived employer attitudes. The correlations that emerge from a bivariate analysis are then tested by regression analysis.

More training, less security? Training and the quality of life at work in Argentina, Brazil and Chile

María Mercedes JERIA CÁCERES

In order to assess the effect of vocational training, the author explores the findings of People's Security Surveys conducted in Argentina, Brazil and Chile; she uses conditional multiple correspondence analysis (a descriptive statistical method). She observes that training tends to be a consequence, rather than a cause of promotion. Though for the worker, training does result in increased work outcomes or advantages (earnings levels, work-related benefits), it also results in greater work costs or inputs (in terms of variable income, hours of work and work-related insecurity).

Distribution of income and job opportunities: Normative judgements from four continents

Deborah LEVISON, Joseph A. RITTER, Rosamund STOCK and Richard ANKER

How do people define distributional justice? What are the personal characteristics or situations that influence how people define distributional justice? Leaving aside the values assumed by policy-makers and experts, the authors analyse PSS respondents' preferences as between the distributional principles of need, equality and equity. In particular, they investigate the preferences of different demographic groups and empirically verify the previously observed pattern of consensus on need as a distributional principle combined with dissensus on the acceptability of inequality. They also examine whether people of lower socio-economic status favour distributional rules that would mitigate their position, including support for positive discrimination in labour markets.

Attitudes towards trade unions in Bangladesh, Brazil, Hungary and Tanzania


Workers' "voice" is traditionally expressed through unions, but union densities are now declining. The author reports on a survey of attitudes towards unions held by unionized and non-unionized workers in Bangladesh, Brazil, Hungary and Tanzania. She finds that relatively more unionized than non-unionized respondents thought positively of unions; and that union activity outside the formal economy and by women and younger workers was negligible. Even amongst union members, fewer than half thought positively of unions or trusted them (except in Bangladesh), and going to a union was only one of various preferred forms of action in case of dissatisfaction.

From People's Security Surveys to a Decent Work Index


The author reports on the development of People's Security Surveys, which are designed to track the seven forms of work-related security comprising decent work, to highlight people's aspirations and sense of social justice, and to measure the impact of policies and institutions thereon. After outlining the main aspects of this instrument (which relate to objective, attitudinal, and moral and institutional criteria), using the findings of the Indonesian PSS for illustration, he then describes the initial attempts to create indexes of security of income, skills reproduction, job, work, employment and voice representation, which are combined into a micro-level Decent Work Index.

Index for 2002
Book reviews

ISSN 1564-913X

Updated by MCN. Approved by IA . Last update: 3 July 2003