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Part-time Employment Can Be a Life-time Setback for Earnings: A Study of British Women 1975–2001

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Listed:
  • Connolly, Sara

    () (University of East Anglia)

  • Gregory, Mary

    () (University of Oxford)

Abstract

Two particular features of the position of women in the British labour market are the extensive role of part-time work and the large part-time pay penalty. Part-time work features most prominently when women are in their 30s, the peak childcare years and, particularly for more educated women, a crucial period for career building. This makes it essential to understand its impact on women’s subsequent earnings trajectories. We find that the wage return to part-time experience is low – negligible in lower skill occupations. Even more important channels contributing to the pay disadvantage of women working part-time are job changing, particularly when this involves occupational downgrading. Downgrading can lead to a permanent pay disadvantage for women following a spell in part-time work.

Suggested Citation

  • Connolly, Sara & Gregory, Mary, 2007. "Part-time Employment Can Be a Life-time Setback for Earnings: A Study of British Women 1975–2001," IZA Discussion Papers 3101, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3101
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
    2. Margaret Stevens, 2003. "Earnings Functions, Specific Human Capital, and Job Matching: Tenure Bias Is Negative," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(4), pages 783-806, October.
    3. Alan Manning & Barbara Petrongolo, 2008. "The Part-Time Pay Penalty for Women in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(526), pages 28-51, February.
    4. Joseph G. Altonji & Robert A. Shakotko, 1987. "Do Wages Rise with Job Seniority?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(3), pages 437-459.
    5. Gregory, Mary & Jukes, Robert, 2001. "Unemployment and Subsequent Earnings: Estimating Scarring among British Men 1984-94," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(475), pages 607-625, November.
    6. Sara Connolly & Mary Gregory, 2010. "Dual tracks: part-time work in life-cycle employment for British women," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(3), pages 907-931, June.
    7. Alois van Bastelaer & Georges Lemaître & Pascal Marianna, 1997. "The Definition of Part-Time Work for the Purpose of International Comparisons," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 22, OECD Publishing.
    8. Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 145-176, February.
    9. Joshi, Heather & Paci, Pierella & Waldfogel, Jane, 1999. "The Wages of Motherhood: Better or Worse?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(5), pages 543-564, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    over-qualification; life-cycle; earnings trajectories; part-time work; occupation; female employment; downgrade;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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