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The Demand of Part-time in European Companies: A Multilevel Modeling Approach

Part-time work is one of the most well-known « atypical » working time arrangements in Europe, shaping working time regimes across countries and mapping work-life balance patterns. Comparative studies on part-time work across European countries have pointed to large differences in the development, extent and quality of part-time employment. To explain such differences, the focus has been mainly on labor supply consideration and on public policies and/or institutional arrangements pertaining to working-time combined with social practices in relation to gender conventions. In contrast to previous studies focusing on the supply side, the originality of our research is to investigate the demand-side of part-time work and to examine how and why companies use part-time work. The main objective of this paper is to analyze the impact of firms’ characteristics sector specificity and countries’ institutional arrangements on the use and intensity of part-time jobs at the establishment level. Based on a large and unique sample of European firms (more than 21 000 establishments) operating in 21 member states, we use multilevel multinomial modeling in a Bayesian environment. This approach has the advantage to identify and better disentangle the impact of institutional factors (country level), from industry specific factors (sector level) and firm specific factors (establishment level). Our results suggest that the observed variations in the extent of parttime workers at the establishment level is determined more by country-specific features, such as societal and institutional factors, than by industry specific factors. In other words, the institutional set-up or the overall working time regime seems to play a stronger role than organizational or productive constraints.

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Paper provided by Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO), School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University in its series CAFO Working Papers with number 2009:8.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 26 Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:vxcafo:2009_008
Contact details of provider: Postal: Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO), School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University, SE 351 95 Växjö, Sweden
Phone: +46 470 70 87 64
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  1. Friesen, Jane, 1997. "The Dynamic Demand for Part-Time and Full-Time Labour," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(255), pages 495-507, August.
  2. Walter Y. Oi, 1962. "Labor as a Quasi-Fixed Factor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 538.
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