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Part-time Employment Can Be a Life-time Setback for Earnings: A Study of British Women 1975–2001

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  • Connolly, Sara

    ()
    (University of East Anglia)

  • Gregory, Mary

    ()
    (University of Oxford)

Abstract

Two particular features of the position of women in the British labour market are the extensive role of part-time work and the large part-time pay penalty. Part-time work features most prominently when women are in their 30s, the peak childcare years and, particularly for more educated women, a crucial period for career building. This makes it essential to understand its impact on women’s subsequent earnings trajectories. We find that the wage return to part-time experience is low – negligible in lower skill occupations. Even more important channels contributing to the pay disadvantage of women working part-time are job changing, particularly when this involves occupational downgrading. Downgrading can lead to a permanent pay disadvantage for women following a spell in part-time work.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3101.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Oxford Economic Papers, 2009, 61(S1), i76-97
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3101

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Related research

Keywords: over-qualification; life-cycle; earnings trajectories; part-time work; occupation; female employment; downgrade;

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  1. Joseph G. Altonji & Robert A. Shakotko, 1985. "Do Wages Rise With Job Seniority?," NBER Working Papers 1616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alan Manning & Barbara Petrongolo, 2008. "The Part-Time Pay Penalty for Women in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(526), pages F28-F51, 02.
  3. Sara Connolly & Mary Gregory, 2010. "Dual tracks: part-time work in life-cycle employment for British women," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 907-931, June.
  4. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings losses of displaced workers," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago 92-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. Robert H. Topel, 1990. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," NBER Working Papers 3294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Margaret Stevens, 2003. "Earnings Functions, Specific Human Capital, and Job Matching: Tenure Bias Is Negative," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(4), pages 783-806, October.
  7. Joshi, Heather & Paci, Pierella & Waldfogel, Jane, 1999. "The Wages of Motherhood: Better or Worse?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(5), pages 543-64, September.
  8. Gregory, Mary & Jukes, Robert, 2001. "Unemployment and Subsequent Earnings: Estimating Scarring among British Men 1984-94," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(475), pages F607-25, November.
  9. Alois van Bastelaer & Georges Lemaître & Pascal Marianna, 1997. "The Definition of Part-Time Work for the Purpose of International Comparisons," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers, OECD Publishing 22, OECD Publishing.
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