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Social Quality and Work: What Impact Does Low Pay Have on Social Quality?

  • MARK TOMLINSON (a1), ALAN WALKER (a2) and LIAM FOSTER (a3)

Abstract

Using Confirmatory Factor Analysis models in conjunction with the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) this paper reports the first application of the concept of Social Quality to a UK data set. Social Quality is concerned with the quality of society, or social relations, and consists of both a theoretical model and an empirically tested set of measures. Social Quality is explored in relation to the policy issues of low pay and the working poor given the challenges presented by the rising number of households in work and in poverty. This analysis reveals several striking characteristics. In terms of poverty per se poor employees are worse off in terms of economic security, housing, health, human capital, trust, voluntarism, citizenship, knowledge and culture whichever part of the employment structure they belong to. However, in addition, even those in the so-called upper level of the labour market (professional, managerial occupations which require reasonably high levels of skill and motivation) are significantly worse off on these dimensions if they are low paid. Therefore it suggests that measures to raise low pay, such as the living wage, are likely to have considerable implications for Social Quality.

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References

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Social Quality and Work: What Impact Does Low Pay Have on Social Quality?

  • MARK TOMLINSON (a1), ALAN WALKER (a2) and LIAM FOSTER (a3)

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