Ethnic differences in female part-time employment in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. A capability approach to assess the opportunity of women to adjust their working hours.
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The differences between ethnic minority women and native majority women in the labor market are often neglected in research. This lack is problematic because women from an ethnic minority background face a multitude of challenges not experienced by native majority women. Not uncovering the reasons behind these challenges can increase the likelihood of ethnic minority women being confined to lower socio-economic levels, adds to growing income disparities and increases chances of a lower overall quality of life. One of these gaps in research concerns the lesser prevalence of ethnic minority women working part-time and the reasoning behind this. This exploratory study examines whether ethnic minority women have differing abilities to work part-time and whether they value doing so differently. By applying the Sen's Capability Approach, it aims to answer to what extent do ethnic minority women differ from native-born women in their likelihood to work part-time and to what extent these differences are explained by the value placed on adjusting working hours and the capabilities to do so? The study worked with a non-probability post-hoc representative sample collected as part of the ERC CAPABLE Project to examine secondary survey data from respondents in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. A linear probability model was used for examination. The results show that ethnic minority women are significantly less likely to be working part-time than native women. The value placed on adjusting working hours and capabilities to do so ultimately did not mediate this effect, however, offered insights into other human capital characteristics which predict the value that women place on adjusting working hours. Policies built on these findings could help uncover the target groups who effectively want to adjust their working hours, ultimately improving employment policies. The policy recommendations in this thesis aim to address goals beyond financial advantages by including dimensions of well-being such as the value individuals place on certain outcomes.