Should I stay or Should I Go? The effect of Gender, Education and Unemployment on Labour Market Transitions
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The literature on job mobility patterns and search behaviour has highlighted significant gender differences. Women on average appear to suffer a higher risk of redundancy or dismissal, they exhibit a lesser commitment to the labour market activity, and they are relatively less mobile than men (Theodossiou, 2002). They are also more likely to exit employment for employee-initiated reasons, namely a family or personal reason, in contrast to men who are more likely to exit employment for an employer-initiated reason such as layoff or dismissal (Keith and McWilliams, 1997). However, although women are more likely to exit employment for a voluntary reason compared to men, men are more likely to be engaged in on-the-job search aiming at voluntary job mobility compared to women (Parson, 1991; van Ophem, 1991; Keith and McWilliams, 1999). The primary reason for these gender differences in the labour market behaviour are the societal constraints associated with women’s dominant role in childcare. Hersch and Stratton (1997) show that women, especially married women, spend three times more time engaged in household activities and are substantially more prepared to quit their job for a family-related reason than men are (Keith and McWilliams, 1997; Theodossiou, 2002).