Time Use, Gender, and Public Policy Regimes

Jonathan Gershuny, Oriel Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

152 Scopus citations


A number of general features of interest in a social policy context emerge from the evidence for changes in patterns of time use. The question that we address here is: is it possible to specify public policy regime effects on patterns of time use? Some hypotheses are advanced concerning likely patterns of relationship between the liberal and social-democratic public policy regimes and the use of time in these societies. The data used are drawn from a multinational time-use data archive held at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex. A clear relationship is found between public policy regime and paid work time (those in liberal market regimes work longer on average), however, there are no consistent regime effects found either for the amount of time spent in different leisure activities or in respect of the domestic division of labor. The conclusion is that, at least in relation to the time-use variables used in the these analyses, the gender division of domestic labor and type of leisure activity represent different dimensions of variability than those commonly used in the classification of public policy regimes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-228+284-285
JournalSocial Politics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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