Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



Given data constraints and the complexity of the concept, it is already quite challenging to operationalize the notion of job quality for wage and salary employment, but even more so for nonwage workers. This working paper addresses this challenge and attempts to formulate a measure of job quality at the individual job level. We combine information on actual and estimated earnings with information on access to social insurance, regularity of employment, work hours, and the nature of the workplace into an index of job quality, and we investigate the individual and enterprise-level determinants of such an index. Although our findings show that on the whole job quality appears to have declined in Egypt over the 1998 to 2006 period, it has in fact increased among wage and salary workers in the private sector, and most noticeably among workers in microenterprises. The overall decline can be partially attributed to measurement issues related to nonwage workers and to a compositional shift of the workforce away from what is generally considered high-quality public-sector employment.