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Part-Time Employment in Switzerland

Relevance, Impact and Challenges


Irenka Krone-Germann

In recent labour market history, one of the most striking features has been the increase in part-time employment. In Switzerland, one person out of three works part-time. 57% of women work part-time compared to only 13% of men. This disparity between women and men is one of the highest worldwide. At the same time, differences in the level of education between genders are disappearing. Given the magnitude of this phenomenon, new questions and challenges need to be addressed.
By presenting several econometrical models and taking into account historical and social gender focused behaviors, the author analyzes the impact of part-time employment on earning disparities, labour market segmentation and the probability of being promoted to a higher level of responsibility. While introducing ways to improve the situation for part-timers, the author examines innovative models of work organization such as job-sharing, top-sharing, functional flexibility and project team rotations. Beyond demonstrating the need for changes within public and private companies, the book also reveals concrete instruments on policy which could facilitate the implementation of such innovative models.


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Acknowledgements - VIII


Acknowledgements The following book is drawn from my PhD thesis defended at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, in March 2010. The Faculty of Economic Sciences ac- cepted its imprimatur without condition and significant reworking. This research project owes its existence to the help and support of many people to whom I owe my most sincere gratitude. I wish first to express my deep thanks to my thesis director, Prof. Yves Flückiger, Department of Economics, and Vice-Rector of the University of Geneva, who offered me his invaluable assistance and guidance. I thank him in particular for the opportunity to undertake this research project focusing on national labour market theories while I was professionally active in a completely different field, that of international economic relations. His vast experience, constant support and pertinent suggestions helped me to orientate my analysis on sensitive as- pects of part-time employment. My profound gratitude is also addressed to Prof. Michel Oris of the Department of Socioeconomics at the University of Geneva, president of my thesis jury at whose suggestion this thesis is being published. His profound knowledge of socio- economic theories and historic developments helped me intensively. His advice on significant Swiss specificities in the social demographical evolution was par- ticularly enriching. Among the members of my jury panel, special thanks are dedicated to Dr. Giovanni Ferro-Luzzi, Senior Lecturer and Head of the University of Geneva Employment Observatory, and Dr. Caroline Henchoz, SNSF Post Doc- toral Researcher at the Institute for National Research (INRS University) in...

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