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The part-time pay penalty: earnings trajectories of British Women

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  • Sara Connolly
  • Mary Gregory

Abstract

Part-time work among British women is extensive, and the (raw) pay penalty large. Since part-time work features most prominently when women are in their 30s, the peak childcare years and a crucial period for career building, its impact on subsequent earnings trajectories is important from a social as well as individual perspective. We find that part-time work experience gives a very low return in future earnings, particularly when acquired in lower-skill jobs. In addition, one-quarter of women in high-skill jobs downgrade occupationally on switching to part-time work, rising to 43% among those who also change employer. In combination these effects give an immediate earnings drop of 32%, followed by a permanently lower trajectory. It is these accompanying changes, rather than part-time status itself, which damage earnings. Return to full-time work, even with reversal of the occupational downgrading, brings only a partial recovery; without it the earnings losses continue to grow. Copyright 2009 Oxford University Press 2008 All rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 61 (2009)
Issue (Month): suppl_1 (April)
Pages: i76-i97

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:61:y:2009:i:suppl_1:p:i76-i97

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Cited by:
  1. Fernández-Kranz, Daniel & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria, 2009. "The Part-Time Pay Penalty in a Segmented Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 4342, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. McGinnity F & Russell H, 2011. "Workplace Equality in the Recession? The Incidence and Impact of Equality Policies and Flexible Working," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number 200.
  3. Gerry H. Makepeace & Michael J. Peel, 2013. "Combining information from Heckman and matching estimators: testing and controlling for hidden bias," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(3), pages 2422-2436.
  4. Wolf, Elke, 2013. "The German part-time wage gap: bad news for men," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79969, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  5. repec:ese:iserwp:2013-12 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Fouarge D. & Grip A. de & Elsayed A.E.A., 2014. "Job tasks, computer use, and the decreasing part-time pay penalty for women in the UK," ROA Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  7. Mary Gregory & Sara Connolly, 2007. "Dual Tracks: Part-time Work in Life-Cycle Employment for British Women," Economics Series Working Papers 301, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. Fernández-Kranz, Daniel & Paul, Marie & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria, 2011. "Part-Time Work, Fixed-Term Contracts, and the Returns to Experience," IZA Discussion Papers 5815, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Joan Rodgers & Iris Day, 2013. "The Premium for Part-Time Work in Australia," Economics Working Papers wp13-04, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.

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