It’s not what you know but where you come from: Cognitive skills, job autonomy and latent discrimination of ethnic minorities in Israel

Sabina Lissitsa, Svetlana Chachashvili-Bolotin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Abstract: Job autonomy – employees’ freedom to schedule and organise their work independently according to their own experience and preferences – is a major factor in job satisfaction. However, it is not granted to many employees in Israel, and the authors of this article were interested in the reasons for this. Based on data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), they investigated the association between cognitive skills and job autonomy among Israeli-born Jews, Arabs and immigrants from the former Soviet Union (FSU) living in Israel. They considered PIAAC data for cognitive skills in three key domains: literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments. In line with social homophily theory (which explains bonding tendencies among socially similar people), the authors’ findings show different effects of cognitive skills on job autonomy between the three groups. Whereas cognitive skills were positively correlated with job autonomy among Israeli-born Jews and partially among Arabs, these effects were insignificant among FSU immigrants. The findings suggest that in the case of FSU immigrants, a latent form of discrimination is taking place: they are not being rewarded for their credentials and skills with job autonomy. Revealing the discrimination mechanisms affecting job autonomy among ethnic minorities in Israel may help policymakers to overcome ethnic-based inequality and alienation in the labour market. It may also assist the development of new approaches that tap into skills currently being ignored and thereby increase employees’ well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-362
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Review of Education
Volume66
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • cognitive skills
  • ethnic minorities
  • job autonomy
  • latent discrimination

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'It’s not what you know but where you come from: Cognitive skills, job autonomy and latent discrimination of ethnic minorities in Israel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this