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Occupational Closure and Job Quality: The Case of Occupational Licensing in Britain

Williams, Mark and Koumenta, Maria (2019) Occupational Closure and Job Quality: The Case of Occupational Licensing in Britain Human Relations.

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The notion of job quality has been at the forefront of academic and policy-debates, best crystallised in the pursuit to create more but also better jobs as a route to economic prosperity. Motivated by the need to better understand how occupational-level structures shape job quality, we derive predictions from the occupational closure literature to explore how occupational licensing—the strongest and fastest growing form of closure—shapes job quality in Britain. Using nationally representative data over several decades, we find that the effects of licensing tend to be confined to jobs in the most stringently licensed occupations, with such jobs having higher pay, lower job insecurity, greater opportunities for skill-use, and higher continuous learning requirements—relative to jobs in similarly-skilled unlicensed occupations. Of particular concern, however, is the finding that jobs in stringently licensed occupations are also characterised by significantly lower task discretion and significantly higher job demands. Overall, our study adds a new dimension to job quality debates by highlighting the role of emergent occupational-level institutional structures in shaping job quality, and further, that despite the overall positive effects closure strategies have, they may come at a cost to certain critical intrinsic dimensions of job quality.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Koumenta, Maria
Date : 2019
Copyright Disclaimer : © The Author(s) 2019
Uncontrolled Keywords : Licensing; Job quality; Occupational closure; Occupations
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 15 Feb 2019 09:25
Last Modified : 15 Feb 2019 09:31

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