Journal article

Under pressure? Assessing the roles of skills and other personal resources for work-life strains

Niels-Hugo Blunch, David C Ribar, Mark Western

Review of Economics of the Household | Springer (part of Springer Nature) | Published : 2020


Many working parents struggle to balance the demands of their jobs and family roles. Although we might expect that additional resources would ease work-family constraints, theory and evidence regarding resources have been equivocal. This study uses data on working mothers and fathers—as well as their cohabiting partners/spouses—from the Household, Income, and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey to investigate how personal resources in the form of skills, cognitive abilities, and personality traits affect work-life strains. It considers these along with standard measures of economic, social, and personal resources, and estimates seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) models of work-life strains..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This paper uses the confidentialized unit record file from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. The HILDA Project was initiated and is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Family, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and is managed by the Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research. The findings and views reported in this paper are those of the authors only. The paper's analysis data were extracted using PanelWhiz, a Stata add-on package written by John Haisken-DeNew. The authors thank Art Goldsmith, Chris Handy, John Haisken-DeNew, and participants at several conferences and workshops for helpful comments and suggestions. The initial work on this paper was undertaken while Blunch was a visiting researcher at the Melbourne Institute; funding from the Institute and the University of Melbourne Faculty of Business and Economics is gratefully acknowledged. Blunch also gratefully acknowledges financial support from Washington and Lee University's Lenfest Summer Research Grant.