Dual-Earner Couples’ Work Hour Arrangements and Preferences for Reduced Work Hours – A Comparative Perspective

4. 4. 2018
16:00, Akademické konferenční centrum (AKC), Husova 4a, Praha 1

Sociologický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i., a katedra sociologie Institutu sociologických studií FSV UK si Vás dovolují pozvat na jarní cyklus Čtvrtečních sociologických seminářů.

Overemployment, or the preference for reduced work hours, are well-known for the association with various social ramifications, but sociological research on the determinants of workers’ preference is scarce. Previous attempts at explaining work hour preferences have thus far focused mainly either on individual characteristics, or on social policies. However, today’s “average” worker (female or male) is a member of a dual-earner household (EU, 2014), and therefore “time squeeze” is experienced as a household phenomenon, involving the conjoint circumstances and perceptions of both partners. This study conceptualizes “time squeeze” at the household level from a comparative perspective. I use the life course perspective, the paradigm of the social construction of gender, and scholarship on welfare policy to examine the relationships between dual-earner couples’ work hour arrangements and men’s and women’s own preferences for reduced work hours as well as their desire for their spouses’ reduced work hours in 20 countries. Using the 2010 European Social Survey, I document a pervasive preference for reduced work hours, which is common both for men and women. Multilevel models indicate, regardless of actual work hour arrangements, couples generally report preferences for working hours for themselves and their spouses that conform to a modified male breadwinner-female homemaker template. More specifically, the ideal couple-level working time arrangement comprises a husband who holds a full-time job but does not work long hours and a wife working shorter hours, either in a part-time or full-time job. In comparison to couples in social democratic countries, couples in liberal and conservative countries experience greater “time squeeze”. I discuss the implications of these findings on gender inequality, individuals, organizations, and social policy.


Ronit Waismel-Manor holds a Ph.D in Organizational Behavior from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. She is a lecturer at the School of Behavioral Sciences at the Netanya Academic College, Israel. She has been a research fellow at the Cornell Employment and Family Careers Institute and a visiting scholar at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University. Waismel-Manor specializes in organizational research and gender relations, and examines the challenges that employees experience as they manage their job and family responsibilities. Her studies have been published in leading academic journals and presented at international conferences on these topics.

Seminář se koná za finanční podpory projektu CSDA Research - Výzkumný program Českého sociálněvědního datového archivu: Česká republika v Mezinárodním programu sociálních šetření ISSP, výzkum kvality dat a zdrojů dat, financovaného programem Operační program Výzkum, vývoj a vzdělávání reg. č.: CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_013/0001796.