Work-to-family spillover: Gender differences in Hungary

Márta Radó, Beáta Nagy, Gábor Király


It is crucial to understand the role that labor market positions might play in creating gender differences in work–life balance. One theoretical approach to understanding this relationship is the spillover theory. The spillover theory argues that an individual’s life domains are integrated; meaning that well-being can be transmitted between life domains. Based on data collected in Hungary in 2014, this paper shows that work-to-family spillover does not affect both  genders the same way. The effect of work on family life tends to be more negative for women than for men. Two explanations have been formulated in order to understand this gender inequality. According to the findings of the analysis, gender is conditionally independent of spillover if financial status and flexibility of work are also incorporated into the analysis. This means that the relative disadvantage for women in terms of spillover can be attributed to their lower financial status and their relatively low access to flexible jobs. In other words, the gender inequalities in work-to-family spillover are deeply affected by individual labor market positions. The observation of the labor market’s effect on work–life balance is especially important in Hungary since Hungary has one of the least flexible labor arrangements in Europe. A marginal log-linear model, which is a method for categorical multivariate analysis, has been applied in this analysis.


work–life balance; spillover; flexibility; well-being; gender; Hungary

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