Siow Yue Chia opened the discussion by asking why services were left out, since women tend to dominate in that sector. She also queried why education, rather than occupation, was used to classify skill levels. She argued that occupations reflect skills better than education levels. Furthermore, by classifying all part-time workers as unskilled, the authors are missing the fact that many part-timers can be highly educated individuals who are seeking flexible hours of work. She also opined that the results of the study were ambiguous for policy purposes.

Toshihiro Okubo feared that the methodology used cannot capture demand shifts.

Deborah Swenson suggested the need for more discussion on how firms decide to employ women. She also noted that the methodology becomes problematic when looking at such long periods because one cannot accommodate all the changes that have taken place. She suggested that the authors look at shorter periods of, say,...

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