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Female labor force intermittency and current earnings: a switching regression model with unknown sample selection


  • Julie L. Hotchkiss
  • M. Melinda Pitts


Using the Health and Retirement Survey, this paper finds a 16 percent selectivity-corrected wage penalty among women who engage in intermittent labor market activity. This penalty is experienced at a low level of intermittent activity but appears not to play an important role in a woman’s decision to undertake such activity. In addition, employer preferences appear to play a larger role than human capital atrophy in the determination of the wage penalty.

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  • Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts, 2003. "Female labor force intermittency and current earnings: a switching regression model with unknown sample selection," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2003-33, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2003-33

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Shelley Phipps & Peter Burton & Lynn Lethbridge, 2001. "In and out of the labour market: long-term income consequences of child-related interruptions to women's paid work," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 411-429, May.
    2. Rummery, Sarah, 1992. "The Contribution of Intermittent Labour Force Participation to the Gender Wage Differential," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 68(203), pages 351-364, December.
    3. Dickens, William T & Lang, Kevin, 1985. "A Test of Dual Labor Market Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 792-805, September.
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    5. Hotchkiss, Julie L, 1991. "The Definition of Part-Time Employment: A Switching Regression Model with Unknown Sample Selection," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(4), pages 899-917, November.
    6. Susan L. Averett & Julie L. Hotchkiss, 1996. "Discrimination in the Payment of Full-Time Wage Premiums," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(2), pages 287-301, January.
    7. Cotton, Jeremiah, 1988. "On the Decomposition of Wage Differentials," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 236-243, May.
    8. Silber, William L, 1974. "The Market for Federal Agency Securities: Is There an Optimum Size of Issue?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(1), pages 14-22, February.
    9. Idson, Todd L & Feaster, Daniel J, 1990. "A Selectivity Model of Employer-Size Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 99-122, January.
    10. Yoshio Higuchi & Jane Waldfogel & Masahiro Abe, 1999. "Family leave policies and women's retention after childbirth: Evidence from the United States, Britain, and Japan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(4), pages 523-545.
    11. Honda, Yuzo, 1982. "On Tests of Equality between Sets of Coefficients in Two Linear Regressions When Disturbance Variances Are Unequal," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 50(2), pages 116-125, June.
    12. Hotchkiss, Julie L. & Moore, Robert E. & Rockel, Mark, 1994. "Export expansion and growth at different stages of development," MPRA Paper 9320, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Kajal Lahiri & Jae G. Song, 2000. "The effect of smoking on health using a sequential self-selection model," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(6), pages 491-511.
    14. Jacob Mincer & Haim Ofek, 1982. "Interrupted Work Careers: Depreciation and Restoration of Human Capital," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(1), pages 3-24.
    15. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
    16. Field, Elizabeth B, 1988. "The Relative Efficiency of Slavery Revisited: A Translog Production Function Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 543-549, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts, 2007. "Evidence of demand factors in the determination of the labor market intermittency penalty," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2007-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    2. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts, 2007. "The Role of Labor Market Intermittency in Explaining Gender Wage Differentials," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 417-421, May.
    3. Hotchkiss, Julie L. & Pitts, M. Melinda & Walker, Mary Beth, 2011. "To work or not to work: the economics of a mother's dilemma," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2011-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

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