Research Paper Nottingham Trent University Discussion Papers in Economics 2010/6
Time scarcity and the dual career household: competing perspectives
Since 1997, until the present, UK Government policy has increasingly acknowledged the principle of work-life balance and problems of work-time excess. The present paper contributes to our understanding of these issues via a theoretically-informed longitudinal investigation of time-use among members of an increasingly important demographic group — dual career households. The seminal approaches to work-time offered by Gary Becker, Catherine Hakim, and David Laibman are outlined, then evaluated using data extracted from the 1996 and 2008 British Household Panel Survey. Our study identifies significant, unexplained dissatisfaction with working hours for many men and women in dual career households, and that women tend to have less pure consumption time than men. This pattern does not accord well with theories of time-allocation which place great weight on preferences.