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Why Do Part-Time Workers Earn Less? The Role of Worker and Job Skills

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  • Hirsch, Barry

    (Georgia State University)

Abstract

The wages of part-time workers are considerably lower than are those of full-time workers. Measurable worker and job characteristics, including occupational skill requirements, account for much of the part-time penalty. Longitudinal analysis indicates that much of the remaining gap reflects worker heterogeneity, evidenced by small wage gains and losses among workers switching between part-time and full-time jobs. The lower skills of part-time than fulltime workers result primarily from limited work experience and accumulation of human capital. Little evidence can be found of a large wage gap between part-time and full-time women. A part-time wage penalty is found for men, but men account for a small proportion of total part-time employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Hirsch, Barry, 2004. "Why Do Part-Time Workers Earn Less? The Role of Worker and Job Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 1261, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1261
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    part-time; wages; worker heterogeneity; job characteristics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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