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Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2005

The effects of the family work day on family time


The consequences for family time of a double participation to the labor market have not received a lot of attention yet despite the spectacular growing number of dual-earner couples. This paper addresses this issue using the two last French time use surveys (1985-86 and 1998-99), two of the few surveys with time-use information from both spouses. The family time is derived from the 'with whom' variable and three kinds of family time are taken into account: conjugal time, father and mother time, and couple-children time. They have all considerably increased over the period studied. A classification of the family workdays is built using a special case of Optimal Matching Analysis. The shape of the family workday is highly correlated with the social position of spouses: the higher the social position of the spouses, the higher their synchronicity. Desynchronized work schedules are most of the time not chosen by couples but arise from the individual temporal requirements of their employers. In other words, desynchronization is a negative temporal externality affecting unequally dual-earner couples. It is negative for desynchronicity reduces the time spouses spend together, with or without their children. This negative effect is partially counterbalanced by an increase in the time fathers spend with their children. However, the strength of this effect depends on the scheduling of desynchronization and this additional father-child time is reduced to recreational activities (leisure and TV).


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hal-01065567 , version 1 (18-09-2014)



Laurent Lesnard. The effects of the family work day on family time. 2005. ⟨hal-01065567⟩
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