In this study, we use the life course perspective and the paradigm of the social construction of gender to examine the relationships between dual-earner couples’ adaptive strategies, such as their work-hour arrangements, conjoint occupational status, and relative earnings, and men’s and women’s own preferences for reduced work hours as well as their desire for reduced work hours of their spouses. Using the 2010 European Social Survey, we document a pervasive preference for reduced work hours in European countries, which is common to both men and women. Our findings indicate that, regardless of their actual work hour arrangements, conjoint occupational status, and relative earnings, 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 combines a husband who has 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. We discuss the impact of these findings on gender inequality, individuals, and organizations.
|Number of pages||24|
|Journal||International Studies of Management and Organization|
|State||Published - 23 Sep 2017|
- Dual-earner couples
- work hours