ERIC Number: ED233212
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Dec
Reference Count: 0
The Length and Characteristics of Women's Lifetime Work Experience.
Gwartney-Gibbs, Patricia A.
A study examined the length and characteristics of women's lifetime work experience. The principal data source for the survey was a set of detailed work, educational, marital, and fertility histories that were collected in the fall of 1979 from 314 couples in the Detroit metropolitan area. While prior researchers had relied upon measures of the length of nonwork as a proxy for intermittency in women's work experience, the present researcher employed an exact measure of intermittency. In addition, she introduced a new method of analyzing the following four characteristics of lifetime work experience: the intensity of past work, duration of work with past employers, employer mobility, and intermittency. This method of data analysis confirmed the hypothesis that the presence of children substantially altered women's lifetime patterns of work experience. While the four characteristics of lifetime work experience were shown to be useful descriptive tools for comparing differences in work experience among married women with and without children, they did not, however, add to the understanding of the earnings process for these women. Furthermore, the results suggested that neither the length nor characteristics of work experience prior to tenure was a critical factor for understanding why working mothers earn less than childless women or men. (MN)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Social Science Research Council, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (San Francisco, CA, September 1982).