Socially useless jobs / Robert Dur (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Tinbergen Institute, CESifo and IZA), Max van Lent (Leiden University) ; IZA Institute of Labor Economics
VerfasserDur, Robert A. J. ; Lent, Max van
KörperschaftForschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit
ErschienenBonn, Germany : IZA Institute of Labor Economics, October 2018
Elektronische Ressource
Umfang1 Online-Ressource (25 Seiten) : Diagramme
SerieDiscussion paper ; no. 11927
 Das Dokument ist öffentlich zugänglich im Rahmen des deutschen Urheberrechts.
Socially useless jobs [0.96 mb]
Verfügbarkeit In meiner Bibliothek
Zusammenfassung (Englisch)

It has been claimed that many workers in modern economies think that their job is socially useless, i.e. that it makes no or a negative contribution to society. However, the evidence so far is mainly anecdotal. We use a representative dataset comprising 100,000 workers from 47 countries at four points in time. We find that approximately 8% of workers perceive their job as socially useless, while another 17% are doubtful about the usefulness of their job. There are sizeable differences between countries, sectors, occupations, and age groups, but no trend over time. A vast majority of workers cares about holding a socially useful job and we find that they suffer when they consider their job useless. We also explore possible causes of socially useless jobs, including bad management, strict job protection legislation, harmful economic activities, labor hoarding, and division of labor.