By drawing on the European Community Household Panel (ECHP), the paper we analyses how the class, the contract and the sector influence women’s exits from the labour market in four countries with different labour markets, welfare policies and normative models: Italy, Spain, Denmark and the United Kingdom. The empirical results confirm that the dividing lines of the female workforce vary between countries. In Italy the most important line is given by the sector, whether public or private. Also in Spain the sector is important, but so are the class and type of contract. In Denmark, where policies and culture support the involvement of women with children into paid work and where the segmentation of the labour market is minimal, women’s transitions to inactivity are rare and largely independent of their human capital and position in the labour market. In the United Kingdom, where wage disparities are high, public support for workfamily reconciliation is minimal and intergenerational solidarity weaker than elsewhere, women’s labour market interruptions are more frequent and dependent from all the lines that define their position in the labour market, the class, the contract and the sector, as well as the human capital.
Keywords: Women’s labour market participation, work-family reconciliation, labor market segmentation, type of contract, public sector, occupational class
Cristina Solera, Women’s labour market interruptions: do class, contract and sector matter? A comparison of Italy, Spain, Denmark and the UK in "SOCIOLOGIA DEL LAVORO " 134/2014, pp. 204-224, DOI:10.3280/SL2014-134013