- Publication date
- 19 May 2022
- Joint Research Centre
EGP (Erikson-Goldthorpe-Portocarero)-based occupational class schemas, rooted in industrial-age employment relations, are the standard measure of socioeconomic position in social stratification. Previous research highlighted EGP-based schemas’ difficulties to keep up with changing labour markets, but few tested alternative explanations. This article explores how job tasks linked to technological change and economic inequality might confound the links between employment relations, classes, and life chances. Using the European Working Conditions Survey covering the EU-27, this article analyses over time and gender (1) the task distribution between social classes; and (2) whether tasks are predictive of class membership and life chances. Decomposition analyses suggest that tasks explain class membership and wage inequality better than employment relations. However, intellectual/routine tasks and digital tools driving income inequality are well-stratified by occupational classes. Therefore, this article does not argue for a class (schema) revolution but for fine-tuning the old instrument to portray market inequalities in the digital age.
GIL HERNANDEZ Carlos, VIDAL LORDA Guillem, TORREJON PEREZ Sergio