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Is there a link between quality of employment and indebtedness? the case of urban low-income households in Ecuador

Maria Sagrario Floro and John Messier

Cambridge Journal of Economics, 2011, vol. 35, issue 3, pages 499-526

Abstract: The paper explores the incidence of high indebtedness or financial stress among urban, poor households in Ecuador and demonstrates its relation with the quality of employment. We argue that informalisation of employment, and in particular job precariousness, have consequences on other dimensions of vulnerability such as high debt servicing and financial stress. The empirical analysis is based on a 2002 sample survey data of men and women workers in urban poor communities of Ecuador. By employing an index of job quality, we investigate and compare the job quality of women and men workers in these households and find gender-based patterns with women working in relatively low quality jobs compared to men. Moreover, there seems to be differentiated levels of debt servicing among women and men that suggests uneven debt burden sharing among household members. By means of regression analyses, the paper demonstrates that low quality jobs tend to lead to higher debt servicing. The results provide a nuanced and illuminating picture of the interconnectedness of employment, financial stress and vulnerability. Copyright The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

Date: 2011
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