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Does the Market Help Workers Balance Work-Family Conflict?


  • Ferrer, Ana
  • Gagné, Lynda


We use data from the Canadian Workplace and Employee Survey (1999-2002) to assess the take-up of family-friendly benefits that are provided by employers. We distinguish between availability and actual use of benefits to account for worker selection into firms according to benefit availability. We find that selection is important for understanding the takeup of family-friendly benefits, although it does not differ much between genders. We also find that the provision of these benefits helps workers relatively little to manage the work-family conflict and benefits are often unavailable to those who need them most. Our findings suggest that the market fails to help employees balance their family-work conflict.

Suggested Citation

  • Ferrer, Ana & Gagné, Lynda, 2009. "Does the Market Help Workers Balance Work-Family Conflict?," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-47, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 31 Aug 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubc:clssrn:clsrn_admin-2009-47

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    work and family balance; family-friendly benefits; take up of employer benefits;

    JEL classification:

    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J39 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Other

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