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Maternal movements to part time employment: what is the penalty?


  • Jenny Willson

    () (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)


In Britain, part time employment is typically used to combine work and motherhood: 60% of employed mothers in Britain work part time, and this usually involves a transition from full time employment around the first childbirth. Part time jobs are often situated in lower level occupational groups and so a transition from full to part time employment may reduce the wage. Using the British Household Panel Survey this study investigates the wage impact of switching from full to part time employment. Furthermore, mother-specific wage impacts of re-entering employment after childbirth via part time employment are analysed. A mother of one child receives a pay penalty of 7%, switching to part time employment increases this to 15%. Mothers who move from full to part time employment over childbirth receive lower wages than mothers who remained in full or part time employment over childbirth for 10 years after the birth.

Suggested Citation

  • Jenny Willson, 2010. "Maternal movements to part time employment: what is the penalty?," Working Papers 2010002, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2010002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daniel Hardy & Paul Holden & Vassili Prokopenko, 2003. "Microfinance institutions and public policy," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 147-158.
    2. Newman, John & Jorgensen, Steen & Pradhan, Menno, 1991. "How Did Workers Benefit from Bolivia's Emergency Social Fund?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(2), pages 367-393, May.
    3. Patten, Richard H. & Rosengard, Jay k. & Johnston, Don JR., 2001. "Microfinance Success Amidst Macroeconomic Failure: The Experience of Bank Rakyat Indonesia During the East Asian Crisis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1057-1069, June.
    4. P. Mosley, 2001. "Microfinance and Poverty in Bolivia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(4), pages 101-132.
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    More about this item


    Part time; Motherhood pay penalty; Childbirth;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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