Dutch fathers’ preferences and capabilities for balancing work and care
Hof, L.K. van 't
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The capability approach (CA) of Sen was used as a framework for studying the effects of working fathers’ preferences and capabilities on the work-family balance (WFB) in the Netherlands. Survey data and time-diary information from 2011 were combined to obtain a dataset of 201 fathers in employment. The effect of the following variables was analysed using multiple regression analysis: (1) the number of hours fathers spend caring; (2) paid work preferences; (3) education; (4) age of the youngest child; (5) the number of partner’s working hours; and (6) household disposable income. The results show that preferences for paid work only play a small part in explaining paternal involvement, although it is known that long hours on the job impinge on family time. Fathers who live in a household with an intermediate income tend to spend more time on caregiving activities than high income fathers, but the effect is insignificant. It is noted that Dutch paternity leave is rather short, which suggests that policymakers may consider lengthening it to create more gender equity.