Labour Markets in Transition
Edited by Ruud Muffels
Chapter 9: Part-time Work and Childbirth in Europe: Scarring the Career or Meeting Working-time Preferences?
9. Part-time Work and Childbirth in Europe: Scarring the Career or Meeting Working-time Preferences? Didier Fouarge and Ruud Muffels 9.1 INTRODUCTION One major aspect of the transitional labour market approach is its interest for the consequences of the ongoing individualisation process on the way people behave on the labour market. One important consequence of that is that women seek to develop their own career and tend to work more hours than they used to in the past. A second consequence is that due to women’s increasing participation they desire more options to be able to combine working and caring duties. In general it seems that people want more leeway to adapt their labour supply to changing conditions over the life cycle and to improve their work–life balance. The TLM approach devotes particular interest into the role of life events such as childbirth, on the way people behave on the labour market and how they seek to improve their work–life balance. In this chapter we focus on the effect of people’s decisions in choosing particular combinations of working time and caring duties on the future career. We use the European Community Household Panel but added the Hungarian household panel to analyse the short and medium-term effects of the various types of combinations of part-time work and care breaks on the occupational career1. The Hungarian panel has been added to include at least one of the transition countries from the East. Transition countries are particularly interesting to study because part-time...
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