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Gender and Work Hours Transitions in Australia: Drop Ceilings and Trap-Door Floors

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Author Info

  • Drago, Robert

    ()
    (Pennsylvania State University)

  • Black, David

    ()
    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

  • Wooden, Mark

    ()
    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

Abstract

We introduce the ideas of “drop ceilings”, that full-time employees who switch to reduced hours thereafter face an hours ceiling such that a return to full-time employment is difficult, and of “trap-door floors”, that full-time employees may be denied the opportunity to reduce their hours and instead face a choice between full-time employment and quitting the job. These ideas derive from the potential existence of norms around the ideal worker and motherhood. Relevant hypotheses are developed and tested using information on usual and preferred working time from the first two waves of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey. The key findings are that women face drop ceilings significantly more often than men; that professionals and managers confront trap-door floors significantly more often than employees in other occupations; and that trap-door floor effects are generally stronger than drop ceiling effects in the data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1210.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1210

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Keywords: working hours; employment transitions; HILDA survey;

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References

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  1. René Böheim & Mark P. Taylor, 2004. "Actual and Preferred Working Hours," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(1), pages 149-166, 03.
  2. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  3. Kea Tijdens, 2002. "Gender Roles and Labor Use Strategies: Women's Part-Time Work in the European Union," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 71-99.
  4. R. G. Gregory & R. C. Duncan, 1981. "Segmented Labor Market Theories and the Australian Experience of Equal Pay for Women," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 3(3), pages 403-428, April.
  5. Mark Wooden & Simon Freidin & Nicole Watson, 2002. "The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA)Survey: Wave 1," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(3), pages 339-348.
  6. Buddelmeyer, Hielke & Mourre, Gilles & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie E., 2004. "Recent Developments in Part-Time Work in EU-15 Countries: Trends and Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 1415, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Rebecca M. Blank, 1994. "The Dynamics of Part-Time Work," NBER Working Papers 4911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Golden, Lonnie & Wiens-Tuers, Barbara, 2006. "To your happiness? Extra hours of labor supply and worker well-being," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 382-397, April.

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