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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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    More about this item


    Part time; Motherhood pay penalty; Childbirth;
    All these keywords.

    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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