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Back-to-front Down-under? Part-time/Full-time Wage Differentials in Australia

  • Alison Booth
  • Margi Wood

In 2003, part-time employment in Australia accounted for over 42% of the Australian female workforce, nearly 17% of the male workforce, and represented 28% of total employment. Of the OECD countries, only the Netherlands has a higher proportion of working women employed part-time and Australia tops the OECD league in terms of its proportion of working men who are part-time. In this paper we investigate part-time full-time hourly wage gaps using important new panel data from the new Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey. We find that the usual negative part-time wage penalty found in other countries is not found in Australia once unobserved individual heterogeneity has been taken into account. Instead, part-time men and women typically earn an hourly pay premium. This result survives our numerous robustness checks and we advance some hypotheses as to why there is a positive part-time pay premium.

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File URL: http://cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/cepr/DP482.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 482.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:482
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  1. Barry T. Hirsch, 2005. "Why do part-time workers earn less? The role of worker and job skills," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(4), pages 525-551, July.
  2. Booth, A.L. & van Ours, J.C., 2006. "Hours of Work and Gender Identity : Does Part-time Work make the Family Happier?," Discussion Paper 2006-2, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Barry T. Hirsch, 2005. "Why Do Part-Time Workers Earn Less? The Role of Worker and Job Skills," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(4), pages 525-551, July.
  4. Booth, Alison & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Employment and Length of the Working Week in a Unionized Economy in which Hours of Work Influence Productivity," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 69(207), pages 428-36, December.
  5. Main, Brian G M, 1988. "Hourly Earnings of Female Part-time versus Full-time Employees," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 56(4), pages 331-44, December.
  6. Mark Wooden & Diana Warren, 2003. "The Characteristics of Casual and Fixed-Term Employment: Evidence from the HILDA Survey," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n15, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  7. 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.
  8. Joan R. Rodgers, 2004. "Hourly Wages of full-time and part-time employees in Australia," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 7(2), pages 231-254, June.
  9. Wayne Simpson, 1986. "Analysis of Part-Time Pay in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 19(4), pages 798-807, November.
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