Gender and Work Hours Transitions in Australia: Drop Ceilings and Trap-Door Floors

29 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2004

See all articles by Robert W. Drago

Robert W. Drago

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Labor Studies and Industrial Relations

David Black

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research

Mark Wooden

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: July 2004

Abstract

We introduce the ideas of "drop ceilings", that full-time employees who switch to reduced hours thereafter face an hours ceiling such that a return to full-time employment is difficult, and of "trap-door floors", that full-time employees may be denied the opportunity to reduce their hours and instead face a choice between full-time employment and quitting the job. These ideas derive from the potential existence of norms around the ideal worker and motherhood. Relevant hypotheses are developed and tested using information on usual and preferred working time from the first two waves of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey. The key findings are that women face drop ceilings significantly more often than men; that professionals and managers confront trap-door floors significantly more often than employees in other occupations; and that trap-door floor effects are generally stronger than drop ceiling effects in the data.

Keywords: working hours, employment transitions, HILDA survey

JEL Classification: J22, J23

Suggested Citation

Drago, Robert W. and Black, David and Wooden, Mark, Gender and Work Hours Transitions in Australia: Drop Ceilings and Trap-Door Floors (July 2004). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1210. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=569185

Robert W. Drago

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Labor Studies and Industrial Relations ( email )

University Park, PA 16802
United States
814-865-0751 (Phone)
814-863-3578 (Fax)

David Black

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

Mark Wooden (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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