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Mobilising female labour market reserves: What promotes women's transitions from part-time to full-time work?

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    Considering the high female part-time rates in Norway, one may envisage a sizeable additional labour supply if more part-time working women would switch to full time. In view of an ageing population and increased demand for labour in the future, we investigate this issue by studying married and cohabiting women's transitions from part-time to full-time work based on panel data from 2003-2009. Contrary to evidence from other countries with well-established support for working mothers, we find that young children in the household still restrain Norwegian women's mobility to full-time work. On the other hand, there is a strong trend of higher full-time transition rates over our study period, which may reflect a vast expansion of the day care sector with more and cheaper day care, as well as a booming economy. Part timers who work in typical female occupations such as nursing, and sales and services are also less likely to switch to full time. Whether this is a result of true preferences or constraints is difficult to say, but previous research suggest that involuntary part time may be substantial. Voluntariness may further be a matter of degree, and "chosen" part timers may also switch to full time if conditions were right.

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    Paper provided by Statistics Norway, Research Department in its series Discussion Papers with number 658.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2011
    Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:658
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    1. Alison Booth & Jan Ours, 2013. "Part-time jobs: what women want?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(1), pages 263-283, January.
    2. Marit Rønsen & Ragni Hege Kitterød, 2010. "What makes full-time employed women satisfied with their working hours?," Discussion Papers 632, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    3. Ines Hardoy & Pål Schøne, 2008. "The family gap and family friendly policies: the case of Norway," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(22), pages 2857-2871.
    4. Jacqueline O'Reilly & Silke Bothfeld, 2002. "What happens after working part time? Integration, maintenance or exclusionary transitions in Britain and western Germany," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(4), pages 409-439, July.
    5. Nicole M Fortin, 2005. "Gender Role Attitudes and the Labour-market Outcomes of Women across OECD Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 416-438, Autumn.
    6. Jerry Jacobs & Kathleen Green, 1998. "Who Are the Overworked Americans?," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(4), pages 442-459.
    7. Inés Hardoy & Pål Schøne, 2006. "The Part-Time Wage Gap in Norway: How Large is It "Really"?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 44(2), pages 263-282, 06.
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