Back-to-front down-under? Estimating the part-time/full-time wage differential over the period 2001-2003

22 May 2006

In 2003, part-time employment in Australia accounted for over 42 per cent of the Australian female workforce and nearly 17 per cent of the male workforce, and represented 28 per cent of total employment. Of the OECD countries, only the Netherlands has a higher proportion of working women employed part-time and Australia tops the OECD league in terms of its proportion of working men who are part-time. Alison Booth and Margi Wood investigate part-time full-time hourly wage gaps using important new panel data from the first four waves of the new Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey. They find that, once unobserved individual heterogeneity has been taken into account, part-time men and women typically earn an hourly pay premium. This premium varies with casual employment status, but is always positive, a result that survives their robustness checks. They advance some hypotheses as to why there is a part-time pay advantage in Australia.

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