Part-Time Work and Occupational Attainment Amongst a Cohort of British Women

39 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2006

See all articles by Victoria L. Prowse

Victoria L. Prowse

Purdue University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Date Written: September 2006


Using data on a cohort of British women who were born in 1958, this paper investigates the effects of qualifications, household structure and family background on the occupational penalty suffered by women in part-time employment. The analysis is conducted using a dynamic multinomial modelling framework in which hours of work and occupational attainment are jointly determined. The results reveal that at the bottom of the occupational hierarchy degree level qualifications improve the occupational attainment of women in part-time employment relative to that of women working full-time. In contrast, at top of the occupational hierarchy, degree level qualifications benefit full-timers more than part-timers. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, women with children have higher occupational attainment than childless women thus suggesting that women with children are relatively selective in terms of the jobs they are willing to accept. Furthermore, women with children experience a smaller part-time occupational penalty than childless women. Family background effects are present but small.

Keywords: occupational mobility, part-time employment

JEL Classification: C23, C25, J62

Suggested Citation

Prowse, Victoria L., Part-Time Work and Occupational Attainment Amongst a Cohort of British Women (September 2006). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2342, Available at SSRN: or

Victoria L. Prowse (Contact Author)

Purdue University - Department of Economics ( email )

West Lafayette, IN 47907-1310
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117

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