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Job tasks, computer use, and the decreasing part-time pay penalty for women in the UK

  • Elsayed, A.E.A.

    (Research Centre for Educ and Labour Mark)

  • de Grip, A.

    (Research Centre for Educ and Labour Mark)

  • Fouarge, D.

    (Research Centre for Educ and Labour Mark)

Using data from the UK Skills Surveys, we show that the part-time pay penalty for female workers within low- and medium-skilled occupations decreased significantly over the period 1997-2006. The convergence in computer use between part-time and full-time workers within these occupations explains a large share of the decrease in the part-time pay penalty. However, the lower part-time pay penalty is also related to lower wage returns to reading and writing which are performed more intensively by full-time workers. Conversely, the increasing returns to influencing has increased the part-time pay penalty despite the convergence in the influencing task input between part-time and full-time workers. The relative changes in the input and prices of computer use and job tasks together explain more than 50 percent of the decrease in the part-time pay penalty.

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Paper provided by Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) in its series ROA Research Memorandum with number 003.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2014
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Handle: RePEc:unm:umaror:2014003
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  1. Manning, Alan & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2007. "The Part-Time Pay Penalty for Women in Britain," CEPR Discussion Papers 6058, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
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  4. Snower, Dennis J. & Goerlich, Dennis, 2013. "Multitasking and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 7426, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. 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.
  6. Black, Sandra E. & Spitz-Oener, Alexandra, 2007. "Explaining Women’s Success: Technological Change and the Skill Content of Women’s Work," IZA Discussion Papers 2803, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Elias, Peter & McKnight, Abigail, 2001. "Skill Measurement in Official Statistics: Recent Developments in the UK and the Rest of Europe," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 508-40, July.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & David Autor, 2010. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," NBER Working Papers 16082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1992. "The Gender Earnings Gap: Learning from International Comparisons," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 533-38, May.
  10. Karen Mumford & Peter N. Smith, 2009. "What determines the part-time and gender earnings gaps in Britain: evidence from the workplace," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(suppl_1), pages i56-i75, April.
  11. Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Organization and Inequality in a Knowledge Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1383-1435.
  12. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Ronald L. Oaxaca & Nina Smith, 2006. "Swimming Upstream, Floating Downstream: Comparing Women's Relative Wage Progress in the United States and Denmark," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 59(2), pages 243-266, January.
  13. Sara Connolly & Mary Gregory, 2009. "The part-time pay penalty: earnings trajectories of British Women," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(suppl_1), pages i76-i97, April.
  14. Gillian Paull, 2008. "Children and Women's Hours of Work," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(526), pages F8-F27, 02.
  15. Lindley, Joanne, 2012. "The gender dimension of technical change and the role of task inputs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 516-526.
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