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Gender and Work Hours Transitions in Australia: Drop Ceilings and Trap-Door Floors

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Drago

    () (Department of Labor Studies and Industrial Relations, Pennsylvania State University)

  • David Black

    () (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Mark Wooden

    () (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

We introduce the ideas of “drop ceilings”, that full-time employees who switch to reduced hours thereafter face an hours ceiling such that a return to full-time employment is difficult, and of “trap-door floors”, that full-time employees may be denied the opportunity to reduce their hours and instead face a choice between full-time employment and quitting the job. These ideas derive from the potential existence of norms around the ideal worker and motherhood. Relevant hypotheses are developed and tested using information on usual and preferred working time from the first two waves of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey. The key findings are that women face drop ceilings significantly more often than men; that professionals and managers confront trap-door floors significantly more often than employees in other occupations; and that trap-door floor effects are generally stronger than drop ceiling effects in the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Drago & David Black & Mark Wooden, 2004. "Gender and Work Hours Transitions in Australia: Drop Ceilings and Trap-Door Floors," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2004n11, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2004n11
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    File URL: http://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2004n11.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. René Böheim & Mark P. Taylor, 2004. "Actual and Preferred Working Hours," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(1), pages 149-166, March.
    2. Rebecca M. Blank, 1994. "The Dynamics of Part-Time Work," NBER Working Papers 4911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Buddelmeyer, Hielke & Mourre, Gilles & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie E., 2004. "Recent Developments in Part-Time Work in EU-15 Countries: Trends and Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 1415, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. R. G. Gregory & R. C. Duncan, 1981. "Segmented Labor Market Theories and the Australian Experience of Equal Pay for Women," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(3), pages 403-428, April.
    5. Kea Tijdens, 2002. "Gender Roles and Labor Use Strategies: Women's Part-Time Work in the European Union," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 71-99.
    6. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    7. Mark Wooden & Simon Freidin & Nicole Watson, 2002. "The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA)Survey: Wave 1," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(3), pages 339-348.
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    Cited by:

    1. Golden, Lonnie & Wiens-Tuers, Barbara, 2006. "To your happiness? Extra hours of labor supply and worker well-being," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 382-397, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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