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Time off at What Price? The Effects of Career Interruptions on Earnings

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  • Christy Spivey

Abstract

Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, the author explores how nonemployment spells and career expectations affected men's and women's wages. Wage profiles were affected by total nonemployment time, by recent work interruptions, and by some past interruptions. Statistically significant interruptions were more numerous for women than men, but the wage loss associated with any given interruption was less severe for women. Future career interruptions, which workers presumably anticipate in many cases, affected current investment in human capital to some degree for both sexes. The wage effects of the timing of experience (defined by the fraction of weeks worked, by specific years) correspond closely to the wage effects of interruptions (calendar years without work): when the analysis accounts for the former, little additional penalty is found to have been associated with the latter. A very small fraction of the gender wage gap was attributable solely to timing of experience.

Suggested Citation

  • Christy Spivey, 2005. "Time off at What Price? The Effects of Career Interruptions on Earnings," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 59(1), pages 119-140, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:59:y:2005:i:1:p:119-140
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    Cited by:

    1. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2013. "The Feasibility and Importance of Adding Measures of Actual Experience to Cross-Sectional Data Collection," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(S1), pages 17-58.
    2. repec:aea:jeclit:v:55:y:2017:i:3:p:789-865 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts & Mary Beth Walker, 2017. "Impact of first birth career interruption on earnings: evidence from administrative data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(35), pages 3509-3522, July.
    4. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2017. "The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(3), pages 789-865, September.
    5. Solomon W. Polachek & Jun Xiang, 2009. "The Gender Pay Gap across Countries: A Human Capital Approach," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 227, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    6. Uta Schönberg & Johannes Ludsteck, 2014. "Expansions in Maternity Leave Coverage and Mothers' Labor Market Outcomes after Childbirth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(3), pages 469-505.
    7. Munasinghe, Lalith & Reif, Tania & Henriques, Alice, 2008. "Gender gap in wage returns to job tenure and experience," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1296-1316, December.
    8. Gerst, Benedikt & Grund, Christian, 2017. "Career Interruptions and Current Earnings: The Role of Interruption Type, Compensation Component, and Gender," IZA Discussion Papers 10713, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Zhang, Xuelin, 2008. "The Post-childbirth Employment of Canadian Mothers and the Earnings Trajectories of Their Continuously Employed Counterparts, 1983 to 2004," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2008314e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    10. Verbruggen, M. & van Emmerik, H. & van Gils, A.E.J. & Meng, C.M. & de Grip, A., 2015. "Does early-career underemployment impact future career success? A path dependency perspective," ROA Research Memorandum 007, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    11. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:8:p:1519-1530 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Hänisch, Carsten & Klos, Jonas, 2016. "Long-run effects of career interruptions: A micro-simulation study," Discussion Paper Series 2016-03, University of Freiburg, Wilfried Guth Endowed Chair for Constitutional Political Economy and Competition Policy.
    13. Fraga, Eduardo & Gonzaga, Gustavo & Soares, Rodrigo R., 2017. "Selection on Ability and the Early Career Growth in the Gender Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 10791, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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