The Premium for Part-Time Work in Australia
Booth and Wood (2008), using longitudinal data from 2001 through 2004, found a large part-time wage premium for both men and women in Australia. Longitudinal studies of the full-time/part-time wage differential in other countries find small penalties or premiums, or no significant wage differentials. The objective of this paper is to explain the nature of the premium in Australia. We find the premium is pervasive across age groups, occupations and industries. It is not explained by the way part-time work is defined, or by the pay loading received in Australia by employees on casual contracts. We find substantial hourly wage increases accompany a move into part-time employment and similarly large hourly wage decreases occur when moving into full-time employment. The magnitude of these wage changes is smaller when the change from full-time to part-time employment (or vice versa) occurs with a change of employer. For women, we found evidence that the contemporaneous effect on the wage of moving into, or out of, part-time employment is not sustained beyond one, or at most two, years.
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