Work, Family and Childcare studies the joint decisions made by parents regarding the time they allocate to paid employment and childcare. Extensive cross-national data is analysed from three countries that represent the diversity of European households: Belgium, Denmark and Spain. The book compares and contrasts the results and draws out important implications for European social policy.
Among Belgian and Danish couples, the author identifies a variety of ways in which the responsibility of childcare is handled. In certain cases both partners will invest considerable time and effort in looking after the child, whereas in other couples one parent will compensate for their partner's lack of time. He also demonstrates that childcare considerations dominate parental decision-making. This is evident not only in a country such as Spain which lacks childcare facilities, but also in Denmark which, relatively speaking, provides an abundance of childcare services. Importantly, the author finds that joint preferences tend to result in either work-centred or care-centred couples, which poses new challenges for policymakers. He argues that future policy initiatives regarding the relationship between `work and care' should focus on parental diversity and help parents to balance care responsibilities and employment according to their preferences
This superb new book combines econometric analysis and social policy insights to address an issue of increasing importance to a growing number of people. It will appeal to a broad international audience including economists, sociologists and social policy researchers. It will also be of value to students on a range of courses concerned with family or household economics.
Joris Ghysels, Assistant Professor at TIER/TA, The Netherlands
Contents: Introduction 1. Theoretical Models of Household Decision Making 2. The Recent History of Households, Labour and Demography 3. Econometric Considerations 4. An Application to EU Household Decision Making: Young Couples in Denmark, Belgium and Spain 5. Empirical Results for Belgium 6. Empirical Results for Denmark 7. Empirical Results for Spain 8. Household Decision Making and Time Allocation: A Tale of Conflicts and Complementarity 9. Households, Children and Childcare Facilities 10. Conclusion Bibliography Index