Title
Do parents coordinate their work schedules? A comparison of Dutch, Flemish, and Italian dual-earner households Do parents coordinate their work schedules? A comparison of Dutch, Flemish, and Italian dual-earner households
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Social Sciences. Sociology
Publication type
article
Publication
Oxford ,
Subject
Sociology
Source (journal)
European sociological review. - Oxford, 1985, currens
Volume/pages
25(2009) :5 , p. 603-617
ISSN
0266-7215
1468-2672
ISI
000270218200007
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
As a consequence of the rising number of dual-earner households, many contemporary couples in Europe face two potentially conflicting job schedules when figuring out how to allocate their time over a week. In this article, we study how dual-earner couples with children organize their working time in Belgium, Italy, and the Netherlands. We place working time coordination explicitly in a comparative framework to allow cross-country differences in time-scheduling mechanisms to be revealed. We define working time coordination as an act that leads to hours of paid work performed by both parents at the same moment and of which the joint nature cannot be explained by factors other than the partners potential to communicate on the timing of their work. Our main findings are as follows: (1) parents actively coordinate their working times in all three societies; (2) on average, Italian and Flemish dual-earner parents tend to synchronize (increase their work-time overlap), which indicates that parents aim at spending non-market time jointly; and (3) Dutch dual-earner parents tend to de-synchronize (decrease work-time overlap), which indicates that the latter tend to maximize the amount of time that at least one parent is out of the job.
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