A Framework for International Comparative Analysis of the Determinants of Low-Wage Job Quality

Chris Tilly, University of California, Los Angeles
Françoise Carré, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Publication Date:
Jan 2011
Project Programs:
Future of Work

In this paper, the authors build on, adapt, and extend existing frameworks to understand forces shaping the quality of entry-level, low-wage jobs. They argue that such jobs offer a distinctive and useful vantage point on the sources of cross-national job quality differences. In particular, they spotlight government mandates and supports, and the influence of institutions supporting the reproduction of the workforce. Both macro-level comparative analyses of dominant national institutions and average labor market outcomes, and micro-level comparisons of matched plants or of jobs in the same company, while valuable, leave important analytical gaps.


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