Work, family, and happiness. Essays on interdependencies within families, life events, and time allocation decisions

BJ (Babette) Pouwels

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal

Abstract

In this thesis we investigate how today’s work and family life influence people’s happiness – or the lack thereof. We contribute to the research agenda by focusing on three underexplored issues in the literature, namely i) interdependencies within families, ii) life events, and iii) time allocation decisions. Using data of the Dutch Time Competition Survey 2003 and the German Socio-Economic Panel 1984 – 2005 (GSOEP), this thesis shows that the happiness of partners in marital relationships is interdependent, explains why parents become unhappier after the birth of the first child, and reveals that the hours that people spend on paid work and household work matter greatly for their happiness, as is the time pressure that is connected with it. Additionally, this thesis provides further insight into the factors that shape time allocation decisions within families which are – as this research shows – an important source of people’s happiness. It demonstrates that people’s jobs and organizations have a major effect on the division of labour between partners at home. The effect of this work context, however, is dependent on the formal and informal rules and strategies that employees use at work and at home to manage or ‘govern’ their time.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Utrecht University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Schippers, Supervisor
  • Siegers, Supervisor
  • Vlasblom, Co-supervisor
Award date4 Feb 2011
Print ISBNs9789090259253
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2011

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