Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 6
  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: September 2009

18 - From the quantity to the quality of employment: an application of the capability approach to the Chilean labour market

Summary

Introduction

Analysing a labour market based on the development of its unemployment rate is as simplistic as assessing a country's level of development based solely on its GDP per capita figures. Yet this is precisely what most labour market analysts do.

This chapter will show how an application of Amartya Sen's capability approach to the Chilean labour market breaks up such a perspective by obliging us to take into account a series of other variables related to the quality of employment that are at least as important to individual wellbeing as having a job in the first place.

Employment is a subject very much neglected by the development literature, even though it is the central factor in an individual's wellbeing once his or her most basic needs have been covered. The capability approach therefore has much to contribute to any debate on the labour markets of developing countries. This chapter uses the results of a survey specifically designed and implemented by the author to create an indicator of the quality of employment, and will demonstrate the uses of such an indicator in order to show how the capability approach can be used as a policy making tool to capture the capabilities and functionings associated with employment far better than other measures such as an unemployment rate.

This chapter also applies the capability approach to a country with a higher level of development than most of the examples that have been used so far to illustrate the approach.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO
Cited references
Agacino, R. and Echeverría, M. (eds.) 1995. Flexibilidad y Condiciones de Trabajo precarias. Santiago: PET
Bastelaer, A. van and R. 2000. Hussmanns Measurement of the Quality of Employment. Geneva paper presented at a joint Eurostat and ILO Seminar
Beatson, M. 2000. Job ‘Quality’ and Job ‘Security’. London: Labour Market Trends
Bosworth, B., Dornbush, R. and Labán, R. (eds.) 1994. The Chilean Economy: Policy Lessons and Challenges. Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution
Bravo, D. and Contreras, D.. 2001. Competencias Básicas de la Población Adulta. Santiago: Universidad de Chile, Ministerio de Economía and CORFO
CERC. 1999. Barómetro CERC, Santiago: Centro de Estudios de la Realidad Contemporánea
Chakraborty, A. 1996. ‘On the Possibility of a Weighting System for Functionings’. Indian Economic Review, 31 (2): 241–250
Clark, D. A. 2000. Capability and Development, An Essay in Honour of Amartya Sen. University of Lincolnshire and Humberside: Working Paper 39
Cypher, J. M. and Dietz, J. L.. 1997. The Process of Economic Development. London and New York: Routledge
Drèze, J. and Sen, A.. 1989. Hunger and Public Action. Oxford: Clarendon Press
Drèze, J. and Sen, A. 1995a. The Political Economy of Hunger. Oxford: Clarendon Press
Drèze, J. and Sen, A.. 1995b. India: Economic Development and Social Opportunity. Oxford: Clarendon Press
Drèze, J. and Sen, A.. 1996. Indian Development: Selected Regional Perspectives. Oxford and Delhi: Oxford University Press
Echeverría, M., Solis, V. and Uribe-Echevarría., V. 1998. El Otro Trabajo. Cuaderno de Investigación N° 7, Departamento de Estudios, Santiago: Dirección de Trabajo
Edwards, S. and Lustig, N. (eds.) 1997. Labour Markets in Latin America: Combining Social Protection with Market Flexibility. Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution Press
Eßner, K. 2000. Nationalstaat und Marktwirtschaft in Lateinamerika – Chile als Vorbild? Working Paper, Bonn: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
Huidobro, García G. 1999. Problemas de medición de empleo. Estadística y Economía Vol 18, Santiago: Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas
ul Haq, M. 1995. Reflections on Human Development. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press
ILO World Employment Report, various years, Geneva: ILO
ILO Labour Overviews for Latin America (Panorama Laboral), various years, Lima: ILO
ILO 1998a. Chile: Crecimiento, empleo y el desafío de la justicia social, Santiago: ILO
ILO 1999. Decent Work, Geneva: ILO
Infante, R. (ed.) 1999. La calidad del Empleo: La experiencia de los países latinoamericanos y de los Estados Unidos, Lima: ILO
Jenks, C., Perman, L. and Rainwater, L.. 1988. ‘What is a Good Job? A Measure of Labour Market Success.’ American Journal of Sociology, Vol 93, No. 6: 1322–1357
Maloney, W. 1998. The Structure of Labour Markets in Developing Countries. Policy Research Working Paper 1940, Washington D.C.: World Bank
Meier, G. and Rauch, J.. 2000. Leading Issues in Economic Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press
MIDEPLAN 1998. Encuesta CASEN 1998. Santiago: MIDEPLAN
Nolan, J. P., I. C. Wichert and B. J. Burchell 2000. ‘Job Insecurity, Psychological Well-being and Family Life’, in The Insecure Workforce, edited by Heery, E. and Salmon, J.. London: Routledge
Ootegem, L. and Schokkaert, E.. 1990. ‘Sen's Concept of the Living Standard Applied to the Belgian Unemployed.’ Recherches Economiques de Louvain, 56 (3–4), 429–450
Oxman, V. and Galilea, S. (eds.) 1999. Políticas de Igualdad de Oportunidades entre Mujeres y Hombres en el Trabajo, SERNAM, Santiago
Paredes, R. 1996. Mercado Laboral e Instituciones: Lecciones a Partir del Caso de Chile, unpublished paper, Santiago: Universidad de Chile
Rodgers, G. 1997. The Quality of Employment: Issues for Measurement, Research and Policy, unpublished paper, ILO
Ruiz-Tagle, V. J. 1999. Chile: 40 años de desigualdad de ingresos, Working paper No.165, Santiago: Universidad de Chile
Scott, C. 1996. ‘The Distributive Impact of the New Economic Model in Latin America in Chile,’ in Bulmer-Thomas, Victor (ed.) The New Economic Model in Latin America and its Impact on Income Distribution and Poverty. London: Macmillan
Sehnbruch, K. 2003. ‘From the Quantity of Employment to the Quality of Employment: An Application of Amartya Sen's Capability Approach to the Chilean Labour Market.’ Unpublished PhD Thesis, Cambridge University
Sehnbruch, K. 2006a. ‘Individual Savings Accounts or Unemployment Insurance?’, International Social Security Review, vol. 1
Sehnbruch, K. 2006b. The Chilean Labor Market: A Key to Understanding Latin American Labor Markets. New York: Palgrave Macmillan
Sen, A. 1981. Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation. Oxford: Clarendon Press
Sen, A. 1992. Inequality Reexamined. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Sen, A. 1997a. Development Thinking at the Beginning of the 21st Century. LSE working paper, London: Suntory Centre
Sen, A. 1997b. What's the Point of a Development Strategy? LSE working paper, Suntory Centre
Sen, A. 1997c. Inequality, Unemployment and Contemporary Europe. LSE working paper, London: Suntory Centre
Sen, A. 1999. Development as Freedom. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Sen, A. 1999. Address by Prof. Amartya Sen to the International Labour Conference, Geneva, 1–17th June 1999, www.ilo.org/public/english/10ilc/ilc87//a-sen.htm
Stewart, F. 2000. Income Distribution and Development. QEH Working Paper Series N°37, Oxford: Oxford University
Streeten, P. 1981. First Things First: Meeting Basic Human Needs in the Developing Countries. World Bank, Washington D.C., Oxford: Oxford University Press
Todaro, Michael P. 1994. Economic Development. London and New York: Longman
United Nations Development Program 1998. Overcoming Human Poverty. New York: United Nations Development Program
United Nations Development Program 1999. Human Development Report. New York: Mundi Prensa
United Nations Development Program 2000. Human Development Report. New York: Mundi Prensa
World Bank. 1997. Poverty and Income Distribution in a High Growth Economy: 1987–1995, Washington
World Bank. 1999. World Development Report. Washington D.C., Oxford: Oxford University Press