Work and family programs and productivity

Thomas J. Clifton (North Central College, Naperville, Illinois, USA)
Edward Shepard (Le Moyne College, Syracuse, New York, USA)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Publication date: 1 December 2004


This paper provides statistical evidence about the effect of work and family programs on productivity using a sample of large Fortune 500 companies in 30 industries in the US economy. Cross‐sectional firm‐level data on work and family programs are combined with financial data on companies to estimate production functions. Alternative specifications and estimation techniques are applied, including ordinary least squares and two‐stage least squares, with controls or corrections for union status, capital quality, heteroskedasticity, and possible endogeneity of company work‐family programs. The empirical results suggest that work‐family support programs succeed in improving productivity. The positive effects on firm performance may help to explain the growth and spread of work and family programs among US corporations in recent years. Further research is needed to evaluate the economic costs of work and family programs and to identify the mechanisms whereby work and family programs result in improved productivity.



Clifton, T. and Shepard, E. (2004), "Work and family programs and productivity", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 25 No. 8, pp. 714-728.

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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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