Moving Down: Women’s Part-time Work and Occupational Change in Britain 1991–2001
The UK’s Equal Opportunities Commission has recently drawn attention to the ‘hidden brain drain’ when women working part-time are employed in occupations below those for which they are qualified. These inferences were based on self-reporting. We give an objective and quantitative analysis of the nature of occupational change as women make the transition between full-time and part-time work. We construct an occupational classification which supports a ranking of occupations based on the average level of qualification of those employed there on a full-time basis. Using the NESPD and the BHPS for the period 1991-2001 we show that perhaps one-quarter of women moving from full- to part-time work move to an occupation at a lower level of qualification. Over 20 percent of professional women downgrade, half of them moving to low-skill jobs; two-thirds of nurses leaving nursing become care assistants; women from managerial positions are particularly badly affected. Women remaining with their current employer are much less vulnerable to downgrading, and the availability of part-time opportunities within the occupation is far more important than the presence of a pre-school child in determining whether a woman moves to a lower-level occupation. These findings indicate a loss of economic efficiency through the underutilisation of the skills of many of the women who work part-time.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published in: Economic Journal, 2008, 118(526), F52-F76|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Joseph G. Altonji & Christina H. Paxson, 1990.
"Labor Supply, Hours Constraints and Job Mobility,"
NBER Working Papers
3474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hakim, Catherine, 1998. "Social Change and Innovation in the Labour Market: Evidence from the Census SARs on Occupational Segregation and Labour Mobility, Part-Time Work and Students' Jobs, Homework and Self-Employment," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293811, March.
- Gavan Conlon, 2001. "The differential in earnings premia between academically and vocationally trained males in the United Kingdom," CEE Discussion Papers 0011, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
- Diane M. Houston & Gillian Marks, 2003. "The Role of Planning and Workplace Support in Returning to Work after Maternity Leave," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 41(2), pages 197-214, 06.
- Richard Blundell & Mike Brewer & Marco Francesconi, 2005. "Job changes, hours changes and the path of labour supply adjustment," IFS Working Papers W05/21, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3106. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.