Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research - Research Publications

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    Family Structure, Usual and Preferred Working Hours, and Egalitarianism in Australia
    Data from a representative survey of adult Australians are analysed for usual and preferred working time across family types. We discover a time divide regardless of gender and family type: many short hours individuals desire longer hours of employment, while many long hours individuals prefer shorter hours. The latter group is larger such that the average employee desires fewer hours across family types, with the exception of lone mothers. For dual-earner couples with children, men average approximately 20 hours more per week than women, a difference that would only decline to 18 hours per week if preferred hours were realized. However, approximately one-fifth of these couples exhibited egalitarian or nearly equal working hours. Egalitarian couples averaged a combined 84 hours per week of employment, tended to share the care of children, were more likely to be non-Australian born, and included marked numbers of women holding degrees and in professional occupations.
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    Work and family directions in the USA and australia: A policy research agenda
    Drago, R ; Pirretti, A ; Scutella, R (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2007-02)
    This article provides a comparative glimpse of work/family issues in Australia and the USA. It begins with a summary of an emerging vision of ideal policies and practices for work and family. The article then provides historical background for the recent emergence of a ‘care gap’ in both countries, focusing on key commonalities and differences. The current status of the gap and the related ‘default solution’ to the gap are then outlined. Key commonalities here include an increasing diversity of family forms, a rise in delayed and denied childbearing, and substantial gender inequality. Significant current divergence across the societies includes relatively more family-responsive governmental policies in Australia, more attractive part-time opportunities for mothers in Australia, a relatively more equal division of labor in the home in the USA, a greater prevalence of corporate-sponsored work/family policies in the USA, and greater coverage of Australian employees by work/family policies negotiated through enterprise agreements. A tentative research agenda is provided in conclusion, focusing on part-time employment options, work incentives and childcare for single parents, the causes of delayed and denied childbearing, and enterprise bargaining and corporate policies.