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W.S. Conen (2019). The value of work in a changing labour market: an analysis of workers’ surveys 1997-2015, AIAS-HSI Working Paper 4.


Over the past decades, major changes took place in advanced labour markets. This paper analyses recent trends in work values, employment commitment and job outcomes across time. Data was used from the 1997, 2005 and 2015 International Social Survey Programme module on Work Orientation for France, Germany, Great-Britain, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United States. The findings in general seem to indicate that in advanced economies, workers have developed a more non-financial and intrinsic orientation towards work across time and both extrinsic and intrinsic rewards largely seem to have improved, although these changes have been accompanied by an increased work strain and potentially more insecure nature of (enough) work. The findings provide no solid evidence that male and female workers have converged in terms of work values or job outcomes between 1997 and 2015.