Social Indicators Research

, Volume 102, Issue 2, pp 181–196

The Time-Crunch Paradox

  • Jose Ignacio Gimenez-Nadal
  • Almudena Sevilla-Sanz


Previous research has shown little difference in the average leisure time of men and women. This finding is a challenge to the second shift argument, which suggests that increases in female labor market hours have not been compensated by equal decreases in household labor. This paper presents time-use and leisure satisfaction data for a variety of western European countries, and shows that accounting for socio-economic factors that differ between men and women is vital for understanding gender differences. We find that working mothers have leisure levels that are much lower than those of working fathers and singles. Working mothers are also most likely to report the least satisfaction with free time. Finding that time stress and leisure time are positively correlated within socio-demographic groups suggests that the second shift argument is still valid, and that feelings of time stress are indeed associated with the lack of leisure time.


Second shift Work-life balance Time use Leisure satisfaction 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jose Ignacio Gimenez-Nadal
    • 1
  • Almudena Sevilla-Sanz
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Economics and Centre for Time Use ResearchUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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