The Impact of Job Quality on Wellbeing: Evidence from Wageworkers and the Self-Employed in Kyrgyzstan
Income and hours worked are insufficient to measure job quality yet these domains dominate literature aimed at understanding its relationship with wellbeing. More so, literature considering job quality in any manner has an overwhelming tendency to look at advanced economies, despite “decent work” being a key policy aim of many agencies and organisations working in emerging countries. This article tests the validity of the concept of job quality as a determinant of welfare in the developing world by generating four six-component indices of job quality using bespoke and unique data collected in Kyrgyzstan. Cross-sectional analysis of the performance of these indices against ones comprising only income and hours worked show no relationship between job quality and wellbeing in the latter case but a strong and positive relationship in the former. Jointly, this shows both the importance of more suitably measuring job quality in all contexts and the importance of policy aims that aim to stimulate better, as well as more, jobs in the developing world.