Short Work Hours Equals Work-Family Strain? Work-Time and Gender Regimes in 24 Countries

Leah Ruppanner, University of Melbourne
David Maume Jr., University of Cincinnati

For many workers, the demands of work interfere with their family lives. Although well theorized at the individual-level, work and family strain may be structured by country-level work-time and gender regimes. To assess these relationships, we apply multi-level data pairing individual-level data from the 2005 International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) for 24 nations with country-level measures of women’s political empowerment, egalitarian gender ideologies, mean weekly work hours, GDP and GINI. In countries with shorter mean weekly work hours individuals report more work-to-family interference and stronger preferences for more time with family and less time at work, net of individual and country-level controls. Although we document gender differences at the individual-level, we do not find gendered effects for macro-level work-time and gender regimes. Collectively, these results indicate that national expectations for work and gender play a pivotal role in work and family strain.

  See paper

Presented in Session 36: Family Policy across the World