, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 263-283,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 16 May 2012

Part-time jobs: what women want?

Abstract

Part-time jobs are common among partnered women in many countries. There are two opposing views on the efficiency implications of so many women working part-time. The negative view is that part-time jobs imply wastage of resources and underutilization of investments in human capital since many part-time working women are highly educated. The positive view is that, without the existence of part-time jobs, female labor force participation would be substantially lower since women confronted with the choice between a full-time job and zero working hours would opt for the latter. In the Netherlands, the majority of partnered working women have a part-time job. Our paper investigates, from a supply-side perspective, if the current situation of abundant part-time work in the Netherlands is likely to be a transitional phase that will culminate in many women working full-time. Our main results indicate that partnered women in part-time work have high levels of job satisfaction, a low desire to change their working hours, and live in partnerships in which household production is highly gendered. Taken together, our results suggest that part-time jobs are what most Dutch women want.

Responsible editor: Erdal Tekin