Discussion Paper Series - Metices

METICES Discussion Paper Series aims to promote research within the METICES research centre at the Université libre de Bruxelles. An affiliation to the centre is required to publish within the DPs. There is no restriction on submitting these papers simultaneously to other working paper series and/or scientific journals. Articles published as Discussion Papers are not peer-reviewed and the publication reflects the views only of the author(s).

METICES Discussion Paper Series vise à promouvoir la recherche au sein du centre de recherche METICES de l'Université libre de Bruxelles. Une affiliation au centre est nécessaire pour publier dans ce DP. Il n'y a aucune restriction à la soumission simultanée de ces textes à d'autres Discussion ou Working Papers et à des revues scientifiques. Les articles publiés sont des documents de travail qui ne sont pas soumis à une évaluation scientifique et reflète seulement les vues de leur(s) auteur.e.s

Vous trouverez ci-dessous les 4 premiers numéros :

2021/1 - Wels Jacques

The Contribution of Labour Unions in Fostering Access to Flexible Work Arrangements in Britain.

Abstract :

Flexible work arrangements (FWAs) are negotiated at workplace level and all British employees now have a right to request for using such arrangements. However, the access such as the use of FWAs varies depending on several factors such as the gender or the income level but, surprisingly, only a few studies have focused on the role labour unions could play in facilitating the access to FWAs. Using data from Understand Society, wave 8 (N=16,992), we use the Structural Equation Modeling framework and, particularly, mediation analysis to examine the relationships between FWAs accessibility, union presence, income level and gender and control for the impact a set of independent covariates. Results show that high income, union presence and being a woman are associated with greater access to FWAs. Though, women do not use the same FWAs as men and low paid workers are more likely to use part-time arrangements than other types of FWAs. Union presence has an overall positive impact, but the impact is negative for home working.


2021/2 - Wels Jacques et Natasia Hamarat

Work and Employment Arrangements during the First Wave of COVID-19 in Europe and their Relationship with the Self-Reported Change in Health of Workers aged 55 and over. Results from SHARE.


The first wave of COVID-19 has had a massive impact on the use of work and employment arrangements, but little is known about their specific impact on older workers’ health. Using data from SHARE (waves 8) collected during summer 2020 (N=9,593), the study looks at the association between self-perceived change in health since the start of the pandemic and work and employment arrangements after controlling for covariates in 27 countries using mixed-effect models. Results indicate a positive effect of home working. In contrast, partial home working is associated with a negative impact on self-perceived health except when working time is reduced. Unemployment and partial unemployment have adverse effects on health but stop being significant after controlling for co-linearity. The study emphasises the need to promote home working together with working time reductions but also stresses the necessity to account for gender discrepancies outside of work and employment settings.


2021/3 - Wels Jacques et Natasia Hamarat.

Are employment arrangements implemented during the first wave of COVID-19 associated with better health outcomes for women aged 55 and over?

Abstract :

The first wave of COVID-19 has had a massive impact on work arrangements settings in many European countries with potential effects on health that are likely to vary across gender. Focusing on the workforce aged 55 and over in 27 European countries using data from SHARE (wave 8), the study applies a generalized logit mixed-effects model to assess the relationship between negative or positive change in self-reported health since the start of the epidemic and change in employment settings using an interaction effect between gender and employment arrangements to distinguish the specific impact of these arrangements by gender and the impact of gender as such after controlling for socio-economic covariates and multicollinearity. Results indicate that female respondents have higher probabilities to declare a positive health when working fully or partially from home compared with men and higher working time is associated with higher odds to declare a negative change in health. However, introducing the main effect of gender exacerbates discrepancies so that the benefits of home working fade away and the impact of higher working time worsens. Differences across countries do not significantly change the estimates. The benefits of work arrangements to improve women’s health during the first wave of COVID-19 have not compensated the negative effect of gender discrepancies to the extent that work arrangements have no role, of just a negative impact, in modulating it.


2021/4 - Wels Jacques

Assessing the Effects of Border Enforcement Measures Since the Start of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Migrants Aiming to Enter Japan.

Preliminary Descriptive Report (Version 1 – 4th of March 2021)


Border enforcement measures implemented by Japan in April 2020 in response to the spread of COVID-19 have had an impact on migrants. Even though Japan has implemented measures to resume international travel in October 2020, these were paused in December 2020. As a consequence, many migrants who planned to come to Japan for work, study or personal reasons were unable to do so with no clear vision about what is going to happen in the coming months. Through a snap online survey made between the 2nd and the 3rd of March 2021 (N=425), data were collected to better investigate the health, financial and trust impacts of travel limitations. Results from the study show major effects of border enforcement measures on mental health (with important level of stress for migrants) and, to a lesser extent, on physical health, lack of trust for the communication of the Japanese government and the Japanese administrations and a major impact on the financial situation of migrants not able to enter Japan. On the flip side, the survey shows up that 9 migrants out of 10 did not give up on willing to enter Japan and that trust in Japanese embassies and employers (for those planning to work in Japan) is high. The study raises six major policy points to discuss and emphasises the need to pay attention to the conditions of migrants who are not able to move to Japan for their job, school or partner.