The skill-divide in job quality: A cross-national analysis of 28 countries

Haya Stier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study focuses on the skill divide in job quality and the role of social institutions in structuring the relation of workers' qualifications to the attributes of their jobs. Four measures of job quality are examined: job security, job achievement, job content and work schedule flexibility. The study is based on the 2005 ISSP module on work orientations and encompasses 28 countries. Obtained through multilevel modeling, the findings show that low-skilled workers are disadvantaged in all aspects of job quality. However, skill inequality in the quality of employment depends on countries' characteristics, with declining inequality in countries at higher levels of technological development and to some extent also in times of technological growth. At times of high unemployment, skill disparities in job security widen while on other measures of job quality they decline. Under high market regulation, the low skilled enjoy better job security but on other measures, skill inequalities increase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-80
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Science Research
StatePublished - Jan 2015


  • Cross-national analysis
  • Job attributes
  • Job quality
  • Skill divide
  • Technological developments


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