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The effect of career breaks on the working lives of women

Arun, Shoba and Arun, Thankum G. and Borooah, Vani, K. (2004) The effect of career breaks on the working lives of women. ISSN 1466-4372

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Abstract

In this paper we examine the effect of career breaks on the working lives of women using survey data from the state of Queensland in Australia. After estimating the income penalty faced by women with career interruptions - according to the duration of, and reasons for, the interruptions - we seek to address a wider set of issues regarding: patterns of job change and income gains or losses related to job change; determinants of career re-entry plans; and satisfaction with hours worked. As women increasingly combine motherhood and employment, they face both penalties and costs, particularly if they have taken a career break in order to care for their young. This general labor market failure that penalizes motherhood should be addressed by relevant measures related to their income, working hours, and the type and status of employment, particularly on their re-entry into employment after a child-related career break.

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