Friday, June 17, 2016

With Flexible Policies, There is No "Happiness Penalty" for Parents

A study by sociologists Jennifer Glass, Robin Simon, and Matthew Andersson compared the happiness levels of parents and non-parents in 22 countries.  In the U.S., parents pay a happiness penalty in several ways.

In other countries, though, there was no gap.  What those countries, such as Norway and Hungary, offer are flexible policies, such as paid sick leave, which help parents make work/family balance work better.

Moreover, the policies that helped most were not the big-ticket items that some countries have tried.  Direct subsidies to parents, for example, were less effective than leave policies that were available to parents and non-parents alike.

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