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The Work-Family Balance: Making Men and Women Happy


  • Francesca Luppi
  • Letizia Mencarini
  • Sarah Grace See


The paper analyses how individuals’ subjective well-being, measured both in terms of life satisfaction and mental health, is affected by the work-family balance. We measure the work-family balance so as to encompass individuals’ roles as a partner, parent and employee. We, also, consider life satisfaction in partnership, family, and work as result of satisfaction with the innate psychological needs of competence, autonomy, and relatedness. Analyses are conducted on sub-samples of parents and working parents from the German Family Panel. Findings show that, even though satisfaction in the three roles is important for both men and women, differences between the sexes persist, and that these are rooted in traditional gender roles. In particular, women’s perception of being a “good mother” and men’s perception of being a “good worker” are crucial for subjective emotional and cognitive well-being.

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  • Francesca Luppi & Letizia Mencarini & Sarah Grace See, 2017. "The Work-Family Balance: Making Men and Women Happy," Working Papers 098, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
  • Handle: RePEc:don:donwpa:098

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    Subjective Well-Being; work-family balance; basic psychological needs; Self Determination Theory;

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