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Measuring work-life balance using time diary data

Author

Listed:
  • Kimberly Fisher

    () (ISER, University of Essex)

  • Richard Layte

    () (Economic and Social Research Institute Dublin)

Abstract

This paper examines how time diaries facilitate the study of work-life balance. We first compare aggregate time spent in paid work, unpaid work, attending to personal needs, and free time across seven countries using the Multinational Time Use Study. We then measure the overlap of work with other activities in two ways. First, we map the timing of episodes of work over the day, and overlay these maps onto maps of leisure time. A social group can be said to have a work-life balance if their peak periods of different activities do not overlap substantially. Second, we measure the total time spent performing multiple activities at the same time, and compare periods of multi-tasking where work is the main focus while other activities occur simultaneously with multi-tasking where work occurs alongside another activity that is the main focus of the diarist’s attention. All analysis is broken down by sex and age. There are many qualifications on these results, and the results in this paper are exemplary of what can be done rather than definitive findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Kimberly Fisher & Richard Layte, 2004. "Measuring work-life balance using time diary data," electronic International Journal of Time Use Research, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), vol. 1(1), pages 1-13, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:leu:journl:2004:vol1:p1-13
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    File URL: http://www2.leuphana.de/ffb/eijtur/pdf/volumes/eIJTUR-1-1.pdf#page=8
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fisher, Kimberly & Egerton, Muriel & Gershuny, Jonathan & Robinson, John P., 2006. "Gender convergence in the American Heritage Time Use Study (AHTUS)," ISER Working Paper Series 2006-25, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Deal, David, 2008. "Time for play – An exploratory analysis of the changing consumption contexts of digital games," MPRA Paper 11655, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    work-life balance; cross-national analysis; simultaneous activities; quality of life;

    JEL classification:

    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
    • J19 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Other

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