The part-time pay penalty: earnings trajectories of British Women
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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Volume (Year): 61 (2009)
Issue (Month): suppl_1 (April)
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