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The Part-Time Pay Penalty for Women in Britain

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  • Alan Manning
  • Barbara Petrongolo

Abstract

Women in Britain who work part-time have, on average, hourly earnings about 25% less than that of women working full-time. This gap has widened greatly over the past 30 years. This article tries to explain this part-time pay penalty. It shows that a sizeable part of the penalty can be explained by the differing characteristics of FT and PT women. Inclusion of standard demographics halves the estimate of the pay penalty. But inclusion of occupation makes the pay penalty very small, suggesting that almost the entire unexplained gap is due to occupational segregation. The rise in the pay penalty over time is partly a result of a rise in occupational segregation and partly the general rise in wage inequality. Policies to reduce the pay penalty have had little effect and it is likely that it will not change much unless better jobs can be made available on a part-time basis. Copyright 2008 The Author(s). Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2008.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan Manning & Barbara Petrongolo, 2008. "The Part-Time Pay Penalty for Women in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(526), pages 28-51, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:118:y:2008:i:526:p:f28-f51
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2003. "Understanding International Differences in the Gender Pay Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 106-144, January.
    2. Moffitt, Robert, 1984. "The Estimation of a Joint Wage-Hours Labor Supply Model," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(4), pages 550-566, October.
    3. Diane M. Houston & Gillian Marks, 2003. "The Role of Planning and Workplace Support in Returning to Work after Maternity Leave," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 41(2), pages 197-214, June.
    4. John F. Ermisch & Robert E. Wright, 1993. "Wage Offers and Full-Time and Part-Time Employment by British Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(1), pages 111-133.
    5. Lundberg, Shelly J, 1985. "Tied Wage-Hours Offers and the Endogeneity of Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(3), pages 405-410, August.
    6. Yoram Barzel, 1973. "The Determination of Daily Hours and Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(2), pages 220-238.
    7. Ethel B. Jones & James E. Long, 1979. "Part-Week Work and Human Capital Investment by Married Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(4), pages 579-594.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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