Flexible Contract Workers in Inferior Jobs: Reappraising the Evidence


  • Colin Green is at the Department of Economics, Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster University. Parvinder Kler and Gareth Leeves are at the School of Economics, University of Queensland.


There is concern that the increase in flexible employment contracts witnessed in many OECD economies is evidence of a growth in low-pay, low-quality jobs. In practice, it is difficult to evaluate the ‘quality’ of flexible jobs. Previous research has primarily investigated objective measures of job quality such as wages and training or subjective measures such as job satisfaction. We jointly evaluate these elements of flexible employment contracts using a job quality index. Analysis of this index demonstrates that flexible jobs are of a lower quality. Differences in the subjective and objective assessment of factors like pay and hours are evident.