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A dynamic analysis of recent changes in the rate of part-time employment


  • Donald R. Williams


The part-time employment rate has declined since the early 1980s, especially among females. This paper examines the decline over the 1980-1990 period, with a focus on the gender differential, using gross change data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly transition rates between full-time employment, part-time employment, unemployment, and nonparticipation are estimated according to sex. Trend and cyclical analysis of the transition rates is conducted to identify the sources of part-time employment-rate trends and to explore gender differentials in them. The results suggest that the decline in the rate of part-time employment among females is not so much because unemployed females are more likely to move into full-time employment, but rather because females have become more likely to move from part-time to full-time employment and, most important, because they have become less likely to leave full-time employment once they get there.

Suggested Citation

  • Donald R. Williams, 1991. "A dynamic analysis of recent changes in the rate of part-time employment," Working Paper 9120, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:9120

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kenneth Burdett, 1981. "A Markov Model of Employment," Discussion Papers 483, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    2. Larry DeBoer & Michael C. Seeborg, 1989. "The Unemployment Rates of Men and Women: A Transition Probability Analysis," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 42(3), pages 404-414, April.
    3. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1990. "Bridge Jobs and Partial Retirement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(4), pages 482-501, October.
    4. Abowd, John M & Zellner, Arnold, 1985. "Estimating Gross Labor-Force Flows," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 254-283, June.
    5. Blank, Rebecca M, 1989. "The Role of Part-Time Work in Women's Labor Market Choices over Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 295-299, May.
    6. Stephen T. Marston, 1976. "Employment Instability and High Unemployment Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 7(1), pages 169-210.
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    Cited by:

    1. J. A. Jacobs, "undated". "Trends in wages, underemployment, and mobility among part-time workers," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1021-93, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.


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