Reconciliation of Work and Family Life in Europe: A Pseudo-Panel Approach

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 14:15
Location: Hörsaal 41 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Nadine REIBLING, University of Siegen, Germany
The reconciliation of work and family life is a continuous challenge for working parents and a source of persistent gender inequality. National welfare policies constitute the institutional context that determines to what extent mothers and fathers can achieve work-life-balance. This paper analyses the effect of labor market regulations and family policies on gender differences in work-life balance for 28 European countries. Most comparative work on this topic relies on cross-sectional multi-level models for assessing the impact of national policies and thus faces the inferential challenge of unobserved heterogeneity on the country-level. Since there are no comparative longitudinal datasets available, this study applies a synthetic cohort design to generate panel data at the level of socio-demographic groups using three waves of the European Quality of Life Surveys (2003-2011). These pseudo-panel data allow addressing the issue of omitted country-level variables with a fixed-effects model. While our results confirm that national reconciliation policies shape gender-specific patterns of work-life-balance, the effects of individual policy indicators differ when compared to conventional estimation models.