Exploring the Part-Time Gap in Performance Evaluations
University of Chicago
Thursday, October 25, 2018
Taylor-Hibbard Seminar Room (Rm103)
3:45 pm-5:00 pm
We explore the career implications of part-time work by focusing on employers’ expectations of employees’ productivity. Using personnel records from three large companies in the Netherlands, we document a sizable part-time gap, but no overtime premium, in the subjective performance ratings employees receive from their managers. This result is robust to controlling for various employee and job characteristics, as well as a more objective measure of productivity. The part-time gap in ratings is larger for men and for employees early in their tenure. While these findings cannot be attributed to differences in costs or returns, they are consistent with a model of reputation formation where employees’ ability and opportunity cost of work are unobservable to their managers, and longer work hours deliver a more precise signal of ability. In this framework, managers treat employees’ choice of work hours as a signal of their productivity, and rate part-time employees lower than their full-time colleagues, despite the same objective output.