The Value of Work project started in 2016 and consists of the following components:
The basics: an exploration of theory and existing research
The first part of the study (Value of Work I, 2016-2017) included an inventory of the knowledge already available regarding the value of work. On the one hand, it included an overview of theories about (the value of) work in five different scientific disciplines (economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology and philosophy). In addition, an overview was made of international empirical research into the value of work, an inventory and clustering of institutions related to work and income in a large number of EU and OECD member states, a more in-depth qualitative study of institutions in six countries and an analysis of the relationship between the value of work and the institutions with respect to work and income in the countries studied. This research provided an overview of the available empirical scientific insights into the value of work, the variation in institutions and the relationship between them.
New research – including the start of the Value of Work Monitor
The results from phase 1 were the reason to look for different forms of in-depth study in part two of the study (Value of Work II, 2018-2020). In the first place, existing (inter)national datasets were further analysed. In addition, a new empirical study into the value of work in the Netherlands was started: the Value of Work Monitor. To this end, a large-scale survey was conducted in the spring of 2019 among 3,490 working and non-working people aged 18-70. Finally, in-depth interviews were conducted with 32 respondents to this survey to deepen our understanding of the considerations and motives of workers and non-workers.
The influence of the corona crisis: insights based on the Value of Work Monitor
The corona crisis and the policy response to it (such as the ‘intelligent’ and ‘partial’ lockdown in spring and autumn 2020) have (had) a major impact on society as a whole, in particular on the economy and the labour market. While “values” usually only change gradually, a crisis like this can trigger a shock effect, causing values to change over a relatively short period of time. Also, as a result of the crisis, different values may suddenly come to the fore. By repeating the Value of Work Monitor (in Spring 2021, 2 years after the first round), we have a unique opportunity to determine the impact of the corona crisis on the value(s) of work.
The third part of the study (Value of Work III, 2021-2022) aims to gain more insight into the question of whether and how the valuation of work has changed during the corona crisis, what differences occur between different population groups and what role institutions regarding work and income have played.