Please check out the recent publication by OOW members Corey Pech, Elizabeth Klainot-Hess, and Davon Norris. “Part-time by Gender, not Choice: The Gender Gap in Involuntary Part-Time Work,” Sociological Perspectives, Online First.
Gender inequality in the labor market is a key focus of stratification research. Increasingly, variation in hours worked separates men and women’s employment experiences. Though women often voluntarily work part-time at higher rates than men, involuntary part-time work is both analytically distinct from voluntary part-time work and leaves workers economically precarious. To date, researchers have not systematically investigated gender disparities in involuntary part-time work in the United States. Utilizing Current Population Survey data, we test for a gender gap in involuntary part-time work and evaluate two potential mechanisms: occupational segregation and penalties for care work. We find that women are much more likely than men to work in involuntary part-time positions. Occupational segregation and a care work penalty partially, but not fully, explain this gap. Findings extend existing theories of gender inequality in the workforce and show how an underresearched dimension of job quality creates gender stratification in the United States.