Économie et Statistique n° 349-350 - The European panel: a new statistical source on households
Female Part-time Work and its Determinants
Female part-time workers do not constitute a homogeneous population. Whereas some women choose not to work full time, the others have to accept a less than full-time working week. There can be a number of reasons why the women who choose part-time work do so: to look after young children, care for a dependent parent or spouse, gradually leave the labour market, take a training course, etc. The European Household Panel figures for France show that over half the working women who opt for part-time work do so for family reasons. Two key elements in the decision to work part time, especially when this choice is to find a compromise between work and family life, are the spouse's level of earnings and the number of dependent children. The probability of choosing part-time rather than full-time work, whether for family or other reasons, is also higher for female workers aged 55 and over and for disabled women. Conversely, other things being equal, the higher the woman's wage rate, the lower the probability of choosing part-time over full-time work for family reasons. However, when the decision regarding the number of hours worked is based on reasons other than the family, the hourly wage level does not appear to have any influence.