AIAS Lunch Seminar 27 August 'Crowding in or out of occupational welfare: Explaining the provision of flexitime across Europe'

Heejung Chung (School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent)

Day: Thursday 27 August 2015
Time: 12.15 – 13.15 hrs.
Location: AIAS, 4th floor Gijsbert van Tienhoven building, room 4.09, Roeterstraat 31, 1018 WB Amsterdam
Registration: Please send an email, preferably before Wednesday 26 August, 12.00 hrs. to register.
A sandwich will then be provided.


Crowding out theory argues that national social policies programmes ‘crowd out’ occupational systems of self-help and reciprocity. In countries where generous national-level family policies exist, companies will not be willing to, or may not feel a need to, provide occupational policies to address worker’s family demands. When used, it will follow the logic of increasing worker’s control for high performance purposes rather than to address family demands. On the other hand, following the logic of institutional theory, as well as the crowding in theories, countries with generous family policies can be expected to be the ones with generous occupational provision. This can especially be the case for parents/mothers – the policy’s target group – and for workers where flexitime is not likely to be used for performance enhancing purposes (i.e., low occupational groups). These two conflicting hypotheses are tested through a multilevel model using company and individual level data covering 27 European countries in 2009 and 2010. The results some evidence for crowding out at least at the company level, where in countries where there are meagre levels of parental leave are those where female dominated companies tend to increase provision of flexitime. Contradictory evidence is found at the individual level, where the more generous the country’s childcare provisions are, the more likely that women will gain access to flexitime. Furthermore, the more generous the country’s parental leave schemes are, the more likely that lower occupational groups will also gain access to flexitime – reducing the gap between different occupations. Both evidences support crowding in or institutional theory, where efforts made at the country level is filtered through to the company level provision.

Key words: flexitime, provision, company level, cross-national study, institution, multilevel modelling 

Click here for the paper

Bio Heejung Chung

Dr. Heejung Chung is a labour market & welfare state researcher and a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy, at the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, a part of the University of Kent, UK.

Her research interest lies in examining working conditions of individuals – focusing mostly on work life balance and labour market insecurities – and on the role welfare state institutions and policies play therein using a cross-national comparative perspective. Check out her recent publications here. Recently she’s been awarded the ESRC Future Leader’s Award to carry out research on the relationship between working-time flexibility and work-family conflict, and the importance of contexts.

She’s on the Editorial Board for the journals Social Policy & Administration and Work, Employment and Society and am an executive-board member of the Korean Association of Social Policy, foreign advisory board for the Critical Welfare Association. She’s currently the Quantitative Social Science lead for the University of Kent as a part of the Eastern Academic Research Consortium. Lastly, but not least she’s coordinating the project Radical Women: 50 years of Feminism at Kent – which celebrates Feminist activism, scholarship and research in the past 50 years of Kent.

Next Lunch Seminar

10 September 2015
European and Dutch middle classes: Running to stand still?
Prof. Wiemer Salverda (AIAS, University of Amsterdam)

Click here for an overview of all upcoming AIAS Lunch Seminars

| More