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How Damaging Is Part-Time Employment to a Woman's Occupational Prospects?


  • Prowse, Victoria L.

    () (Purdue University)


This paper investigates the causes of the well documented association between part-time employment and low occupational attainment amongst British women. In particular, the relative importance of structural factors and unobserved heterogeneity to the occupational attainment of women who choose to work part-time is investigated. The results indicate that there are significant structural impediments to women in part-time employment obtaining their true occupational potential. However, structural factors explain only part of the relatively low occupational attainment of women in part-time employment: differences in unobserved characteristics between part-time and full-time workers also contribute to the low occupational attainment of women in part-time employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Prowse, Victoria L., 2005. "How Damaging Is Part-Time Employment to a Woman's Occupational Prospects?," IZA Discussion Papers 1648, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1648

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stewart, Mark B & Greenhalgh, Christine A, 1984. "Work History Patterns and the Occupational Attainment of Women," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(375), pages 493-519, September.
    2. Stephen Pudney & Michael Shields, 2000. "Gender, race, pay and promotion in the British nursing profession: estimation of a generalized ordered probit model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 367-399.
    3. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 76-108, Part II, .
    4. Dean R. Hyslop, 1999. "State Dependence, Serial Correlation and Heterogeneity in Intertemporal Labor Force Participation of Married Women," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1255-1294, November.
    5. Hajivassiliou, Vassilis A. & Ruud, Paul A., 1986. "Classical estimation methods for LDV models using simulation," Handbook of Econometrics,in: R. F. Engle & D. McFadden (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 40, pages 2383-2441 Elsevier.
    6. Borsch-Supan, Axel & Hajivassiliou, Vassilis A., 1993. "Smooth unbiased multivariate probability simulators for maximum likelihood estimation of limited dependent variable models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 347-368, August.
    7. Miller, Paul W, 1987. "The Wage Effect of the Occupational Segregation of Women in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388), pages 885-896, December.
    8. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics,in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
    9. Hajivassiliou, Vassilis & McFadden, Daniel & Ruud, Paul, 1996. "Simulation of multivariate normal rectangle probabilities and their derivatives theoretical and computational results," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1-2), pages 85-134.
    10. Heckman, James J & Borjas, George J, 1980. "Does Unemployment Cause Future Unemployment? Definitions, Questions and Answers from a Continuous Time Model of Heterogeneity and State Dependence," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(187), pages 247-283, August.
    11. Greenhalgh, Christine A, 1980. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Great Britain: Is Marriage an Equal Opportunity?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(363), pages 751-775, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kaiser, Lutz C., 2005. "Gender-Job Satisfaction Differences across Europe: An Indicator for Labor Market Modernization," IZA Discussion Papers 1876, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Lutz C. Kaiser, 2005. "Gender-Job Satisfaction Differences across Europe: An Indicator for Labor Market Modernization," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 537, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item


    dynamic labor supply; heterogeneity; occupational attainment; part-time employment;

    JEL classification:

    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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