Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Arbetsrapport,
Institute for Futures Studies

No 2010:4: Family Policy, Perceived Stress and Work-Family Conflict A Comparative Analysis of Women in 20 Welfare States

Ingrid Esser () and Tommy Ferrarini ()
Additional contact information
Ingrid Esser: Institute for Futures Studies, Postal: Institute for Futures Studies, Box 591, SE-101 31 Stockholm, Sweden
Tommy Ferrarini: Institute for Futures Studies, Postal: Institute for Futures Studies, Box 591, SE-101 31 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: In what ways can family policy institutions be linked to women’s perceived stress and work-family conflict? This study combines new institutional information, enabling a multi-dimensional analysis of family policy legislation, with micro data on individuals’ perceived stress and work-family conflict for 20 welfare democracies from the International Social Survey Program of 2002. By use of multilevel regression, individual- and country-level factors are brought together in simultaneous analyses of their relationships with perceived stress and workfamily conflict. Our evaluations do not lend evidence to hypotheses predicting higher stress and role conflicts in countries where family policy design offers extensive support to dual-earner families. Findings are more in line with institutionalist ideas on work-family reconciliation, indicating that family policy institutions supportive of dual-earner families counterbalance stress emanating

Keywords: family policy legislation; perceived stress; work-family conflict; International Social Survey Program of 2002

JEL-codes: H75

27 pages, May 7, 2010

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