This contribution starts with a comparative analysis of women’s labour supply in Italy as compared to other European countries characterized by a higher diffusion of female labour supply and employment. Italy is distinctive with respect to other European countries for the very low women’s participation rates and the low share of part-time work. Female employment in Italy increased in the last decades and, as in other industrialized countries, the main component has been married women’s labour supply. This essay refers to the factors affecting women’s labour supply in Italy and part-time work showing the institutional constraints on its development. Part-time workforce by gender is analyzed comparing part-time workforce in Italy to part-time work force in France, Germany and in the United Kingdom. The key reasons for the low level of part-time work in Italy compared to France, Germany and the United Kingdom are found in: the relatively recent introduction of a law legitimating an regulating part-time work (1984) and the relatively recent subsequent introduction of incentives for firms to use part-time workers; the relatively low interest in part-time work among employers who prefer temporary contract and other means of achieving employment flexibility; the opposition of trade unions; the smaller size of the service sector. In effect, organizational and institutional barriers seem to be more important than any lack of interest in part-time jobs among working women, the unemployed, and the inactive population. Married women tend to favour part-time work for family reasons. Demand side constraints seem to be the overriding factors of the level part-time work. The current part-time workforce presents a large share of involuntary part-time in Italy. The essay suggests the use of disequilibrium models and longitudinal data to further investigate the relationship between labour supply and the availability of part-time jobs.
Part-time work in Italy / Addabbo, Tindara. - STAMPA. - Between Equalization and Marginalization. Women Working Part-time in Europe and the United States of America:(1997), pp. 113-132.