Making Ends Meet: Insufficiency and Work-Family Coordination in the New Economy

Penny Edgell, Samantha K. Ammons, Eric C. Dahlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The "New Economy" features 24/7 employment, varied work schedules, job insecurity, and lower benefits and wages, which lead to disparities in experiences of security and sufficiency. This study investigates sufficiency concerns in the New Economy; who is having trouble making ends meet? Sufficiency concerns are subjective perceptions that work is insufficient to meet basic needs and that family and work cannot be coordinated in a stable way. This study uses the 2006 National Survey of Religion and Family Life (N = 1,621) to analyze Americans' experiences in the New Economy and how these experiences are related to work-family conflict. Sufficiency concerns were experienced by a quarter to a third of our respondents and were shaped by gender and structural inequality, especially race and education. Moreover, sufficiency concerns strongly predict work-family conflict, even when other controls are included. This research furthers our understanding of work-family conflict and the winners and losers in the New Economy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)999-1026
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Data are from the National Survey of Religion and Family Life (Penny Edgell, Christopher Ellison, W. Bradford Wilcox, co-Principal Investigators), funded by the Lily Endowment (Grant No. 2002 2301-000).

Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • family
  • gender
  • work
  • work-family conflict


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