“Where Bad Jobs Are Better: Retail Jobs Across Countries and Companies,” written by Chris Tilly, professor of urban planning in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, and Françoise Carré, of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, received the 2019 Distinguished Scholarly Monograph Award from the American Sociological Association’s labor and labor movements section.

Tilly studies labor markets, inequality, urban development and public policies directed toward better jobs. He is especially interested in researching how combinations of institutions and markets generate unequal labor outcomes, and how public policy and collective action can successfully be directed toward improving those outcomes.

The book, which identifies room for improvement in the U.S. retail sector, was cited for its rigorous research, concise writing and deep relevance to students, scholars and activists. By comparing working conditions in seven countries, the authors conclude that low wages, unpredictable work schedules and limited opportunities for advancement are not an inevitable characteristic of the retail sector. The book previously won the 2018 William G. Bowen Award from Princeton University for its contribution toward understanding public policy related to industrial relations and the operation of labor markets.