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Employment Pathways and Wage Progression for Mothers in Low-Skilled Work: Evidence from Three British Datasets


  • Francesca Bastagli
  • Kitty Stewart


This CASEbrief reports on the findings of recent research examining the employment pathways followed by mothers entering low-skilled work. The project was originally framed under a Labour Government which placed considerable emphasis on encouraging women back into work when their children were relatively young (pre-school age), first through tax credits and childcare subsidies and subsequently with greater compulsion. A central justification underlying the provision of greater financial support to mothers in employment than to those staying at home was the assumption – frequently expressed in government documents – that even a low-skilled job was a stepping-stone to improved prospects, with a long-run pay-off both for mothers and for the Treasury. We wanted to know how justified this assumption was: how often did mothers’ low-skilled work result in stable employment and progression up the earnings distribution out of low pay?
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  • Francesca Bastagli & Kitty Stewart, 2011. "Employment Pathways and Wage Progression for Mothers in Low-Skilled Work: Evidence from Three British Datasets," CASE Briefs 30, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:sticab:30

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    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • 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

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