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A Macro Perspective of Work-Care Balance in the Enlarged Union
A Macro Perspective of Work-Care Balance in the Enlarged Union

Author(s): Michaela Gstrein, Liliana Mateeva
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Институтът по философия и социология при БАН
Keywords: macro outcome classification; work-care balance; family policy; labour market flexibility

Summary/Abstract: With the EU’s strong Lisbon focus on growth and employment, the reconciliation of work and care has become a key policy concern within the broader issue of work-life balance. Yet, empirical data shows that European families found quite different ways to combine work and care, relying on various traditions of intra-family divisions of labour, childcare and paid work but also responding to the current social and economic framework conditions in their country. The paper explores patterns of workcare relationships by means of classification method and offers a mapping and new insights into similarities and differences across Europe. What is new about this approach? Instead of grouping a limited number of countries upon their assumed welfare regimes or gender roles, we (1) geographically broadened the approach by including all EU 27 and CC (Croatia and Turkey), (2) took a macro perspective and used macro parameters for work, care and fertility, (3) developed up-to-date (2005) country groupings based on the observable outcome of past developments and policies in the field of work, care and fertility. In an additional step, we investigated country sub-groups (NMS, EU15) and explored the influences of and challenges for EU family policies (policy modified cluster). We found that European countries are not so different at all when looked at from a macro outcome perspective and that various mixes of family friendly policies can well enhance reconciliation of work and care.

  • Issue Year: 40/2008
  • Issue No: Spec. 3
  • Page Range: 29-45
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: English