Why Do Part-Time Workers Earn Less? The Role of Worker and Job Skills

35 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2004

See all articles by Barry T. Hirsch

Barry T. Hirsch

IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Georgia State University

Date Written: August 2004


The wages of part-time workers are considerably lower than are those of full-time workers. Measurable worker and job characteristics, including occupational skill requirements, account for much of the part-time penalty. Longitudinal analysis indicates that much of the remaining gap reflects worker heterogeneity, evidenced by small wage gains and losses among workers switching between part-time and full-time jobs. The lower skills of part-time than fulltime workers result primarily from limited work experience and accumulation of human capital. Little evidence can be found of a large wage gap between part-time and full-time women. A part-time wage penalty is found for men, but men account for a small proportion of total part-time employment.

Keywords: Part-time employment, wage differentials, occupational skills, longitudinal analysis

Suggested Citation

Hirsch, Barry T. and Hirsch, Barry T., Why Do Part-Time Workers Earn Less? The Role of Worker and Job Skills (August 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=282916 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.282916

Barry T. Hirsch (Contact Author)

Georgia State University ( email )

Department of Economics
Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States
404-413-0880 (Phone)
404-413-0145 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://unionstats.gsu.edu/bhirsch

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

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