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Do Women Expect Wage Cuts for Part-time Work?

Discussion Papers 2024, 23 S.

Annekatrin Schrenker


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I quantify the perceived changes in hourly wage rates associated with working different hours on the same job for a representative sample of female workers. While part-time working women expect significant hourly wage gains from switching to full-time work - 7% on average - full-time workers expect no effect on current wages when switching to part-time, on average. Perceived pecuniary losses from part-time work are most pronounced among full-time working mothers and women in managerial jobs. Using density forecasts, I document a large uncertainty about the perceived pay gap that correlates with the probability to report extreme wage penalties, as well as with worker characteristics. Comparing beliefs with selectivity-corrected estimates of the objective part-time penalty further indicates that full-time workers on average underestimate part-time wage losses, whereas part-time workers tend to overestimate full-time wage gains.

JEL-Classification: D84;J22;J31
Keywords: Expectations, female labor supply, part-time wage gap