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Women’s Part-Time Work: A Cross-National Comparison


Rosenfeld, Rachel A. & Birkelund, Gunn E. (1995). Women's Part-Time Work: A Cross-National Comparison. European Sociological Review, 11, 111-134.


Since the mid-twentieth century, part-time work has increased more than full-time work in most advanced capitalist countries. Part-time work is still mostly women's work, yet the level of part-time employment varies across nations, from approximately one-fifth of employed US women, to more than half of employed Norwegian women in the 1980s. In this article, we discuss how country-level labour demand, work and family policies, and political and labour institutions are associated with the share of employed women who work part-time. Using aggregate-level data from nine advanced industrialized countries, we find that the organizational power of labour and the proportion of employed women in the state sector have some of the strongest and most consistent effects on the extent of a country's part-time female labour force.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

European Sociological Review


Rosenfeld, Rachel A.
Birkelund, Gunn E.