Moving Down: Women`s Part-time Work and Occupational Change in Britain 1991-2001
AbstractThe UK`s Equal Opportunities Commission has recently drawn attention to the `hidden brain drain` when women working part-time are employed in occupations below those for which they are qualified. These inferences were based on self-reporting. We give an objective and quantitative analysis of the nature of occupational change as women make the transition between full-time and part-time work. We construct an occupational classification which supports a ranking of occupations based on the average level of qualification of those employed there on a full-time basis. Using the NESPD and the BHPS for the period 1991-2001 we show that perhaps one-quarter of women moving from full- to part-time work move to an occupation at a lower level of qualification. Over 20 percent of professional women downgrade, half of them moving to low-skill jobs; two-thirds of nurses leaving nursing become care assistants; women from managerial positions are particularly badly affected. Women remaining with their current employer are much less vulnerable to downgrading, and the availability of part-time opportunities within the occupation is far more important than the presence of a pre-school child in determining whether a woman moves to a lower-level occupation. These findings indicate a loss of economic efficiency through the underutilisation of the skills of many of the women who work part-time.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 359.
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Female Employment; Part-time Work; Occupation; Life-cycle; Downgrade; Over-qualification;
Other versions of this item:
- Sara Connolly & Mary Gregory, 2008. "Moving Down: Women's Part-Time Work and Occupational Change in Britain 1991-2001," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(526), pages F52-F76, 02.
- Connolly, Sara & Gregory, Mary, 2007. "Moving Down: Women’s Part-time Work and Occupational Change in Britain 1991–2001," IZA Discussion Papers 3106, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
- C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
- C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
- C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
- J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-11-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-HRM-2007-11-03 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-LAB-2007-11-03 (Labour Economics)
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