Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics

No 03-8: Why are Well-educated Women not Full-timers?

Nielsen Helena Skyt and Mette Verner ()
Additional contact information
Nielsen Helena Skyt: Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business, Postal: The Aarhus School of Business, Prismet, Silkeborgvej 2, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Mette Verner: Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business, Postal: The Aarhus School of Business, Prismet, Silkeborgvej 2, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

Abstract: A high proportion of well-educated women in Denmark chooses to work part-time or completely stay outside the labour market. We analyse this phenomenon in a discrete choice dynamic programming framework, taking the potentially endogenous effect of work experience on annual earnings into account. The main findings are that the disutility of full-time work increases with obtained work experience and education. Only the level of returns to these variables serves to outweigh this effect, and results in a high degree of persistence in the full-time participation pattern. Simulation reveals that the participation pattern is significantly affected by changing returns to skills.

Keywords: High-educated women; labour force participation; disutility of work; discrete choice; dynamic programming

JEL-codes: D10; D91

30 pages, August 1, 2003

Note: Published in Danish Journal of Economics, vol. 144(1), pp43-74, 2006

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