IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Preference or constraint? Part-time workers' transitions in Denmark, France and the United Kingdom


  • Vanessa Gash

    (University of Manchester,


This article investigates whether women work part-time through preference or constraint and argues that different countries provide different opportunities for preference attainment. It argues that women with family responsibilities are unlikely to have their working preferences met without national policies supportive of maternal employment. Using event history analysis the article tracks part-time workers' transitions to both full-time employment and to labour market drop-out.The article compares the outcome of workers in the UK, a country with little support for maternal employment, relative to Denmark and France, two countries with a long history of facilitating workers' engagement in both paid employment and family life. It finds evidence of part-time constraint in the UK relative to the other two countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Vanessa Gash, 2008. "Preference or constraint? Part-time workers' transitions in Denmark, France and the United Kingdom," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 22(4), pages 655-674, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:woemps:v:22:y:2008:i:4:p:655-674

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Haya Stier & Amit Kaplan, 2020. "Are Children a Joy or a Burden? Individual- and Macro-level Characteristics and the Perception of Children," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 36(2), pages 387-413, April.
    2. Ragni Hege Kitterød & Marit Rønsen & Ane Seierstad, 2011. "Working hours in dual-earner couples: Does one partner work less when the other works more?," Discussion Papers 670, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    3. Pia Schober & Jacqueline Scott, 2012. "Maternal employment and gender role attitudes: dissonance among British men and women in the transition to parenthood," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 26(3), pages 514-530, June.
    4. Younga Kim, 2015. "Changes in Precarious Employment Among South Korean Women," Mathematical Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 101-123, June.
    5. Ragni Hege Kitterød & Marit Rønsen & AneSeierstad, 2011. "Mobilising female labour market reserves: What promotes women's transitions from part-time to full-time work?," Discussion Papers 658, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    6. Michail Veliziotis & Manos Matsaganis & Alexandros Karakitsios, 2015. "Involuntary part-time employment: perspectives from two European labour markets," ImPRovE Working Papers 15/02, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    7. Jeroen Horemans & Ive Marx & Brian Nolan, 2016. "Hanging in, but only just: part-time employment and in-work poverty throughout the crisis," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, December.
    8. Frédéric SALLADARRÉ & Stéphane HLAIMI, 2014. "Women and part-time work in Europe," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 153(2), pages 293-310, June.
    9. Jeroen Horemans & Ive Marx, 2013. "In-work poverty in times of crisis: do part-timers fare worse?," ImPRovE Working Papers 13/14, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    10. Stuth, Stefan & Hennig, Marina & Allmendinger, Jutta, 2009. "Die Bedeutung des Berufs für die Dauer von Erwerbsunterbrechungen," Discussion Papers, Presidential Department P 2009-001, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    11. Stefanie Kley & Sonja Drobnič, 2019. "Does moving for family nest-building inhibit mothers' labour force (re-)entry?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 40(7), pages 155-184.
    12. Patricia Lewis & Ruth Simpson, 2017. "Hakim Revisited: Preference, Choice and the Postfeminist Gender Regime," Gender, Work and Organization, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 115-133, March.
    13. Jacobo Muñoz-Comet & Stephanie Steinmetz, 2020. "Trapped in Precariousness? Risks and Opportunities of Female Immigrants and Natives Transitioning from Part-Time Jobs in Spain," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 34(5), pages 749-768, October.
    14. Schmid, Günther & Protsch, Paula, 2009. "Wandel der Erwerbsformen in Deutschland und Europa," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Skill Formation and Labor Markets SP I 2009-505, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    15. Renzo Carriero & Lorenzo Todesco, 2018. "Housework division and gender ideology: When do attitudes really matter?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 39(39), pages 1039-1064.
    16. Vanessa Gash, 2009. "Sacrificing Their Careers for Their Families? An Analysis of the Penalty to Motherhood in Europe," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 93(3), pages 569-586, September.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:woemps:v:22:y:2008:i:4:p:655-674. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.