Type
Working paper
Title
The Welfare Effects of Involuntary Part-Time Work
In
Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers
Author(s)
BOROWCZYK-MARTINS Daniel - Département d'économie (Author)
LALÉ Etienne - Department of Economics (Author)
Collection
Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers : 2016-05
Keywords
Involuntary part-time work, Unemployment, Welfare
Abstract
EN
Employed individuals in the U.S. are increasingly more likely to work part-time involuntarily than to be unemployed. Spells of involuntary part-time work are different from unemployment spells: a full-time worker who takes on a part-time job suffers an earnings loss while remaining employed, and is unlikely to receive income compensation from publicly-provided insurance programs.We analyze these differences through the lens of an incomplete-market, job-search model featuring unemployment risk alongside an additional risk of involuntary part-time employment.A calibration of the model consistent with U.S. institutions and labor-market dynamics shows that involuntary part-time work generates lower welfare losses relative to unemployment. This finding relies critically on the much higher probability to return to full-time employment from part-time work. We interpret it as a premium in access to full-time work faced by involuntary part-time workers, and use our model to tabulate its value in consumption-equivalent units.

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