Nonstandard Work Schedules and the Work-Life Balance of Mothers in Japan

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 10:00
Location: Hörsaal 5A G (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Akiko OISHI, Chiba University, Japan
With the prevalence of ‘24/7 economy,’ an increasing number of mothers across the industrialized countries work hours that fall outside of a typical daytime. Japan is no exception. This labor market trend has raised concerns about its potential impact on children’s well-being. The issue is more important for single-mother families because single-mothers are more likely to work nonstandard hours and they have fewer time and money to spend on children when compared to their married counterparts. Furthermore, not only in the US but also in Japan, the gap in time spent on children between single-parent families and two-parent families has widened in the past few decades (Fox et al. 2013, Tamiya and Shikata 2007). Despite the growing concern over inequality in children’s well-being in Japan, there has been no study that explicitly focuses on mothers’ nonstandard work schedules and their possible effect on family resources spent on children. Thus, using a unique survey that comprises of single and married mothers in Japan, this study investigates factors affecting mothers’ decision to work nonstandard hours, and the effect of mothers’ nonstandard work schedules on the time and money spent on children. I also use the Statistics Bureau’s Japanese Time Use Survey between 1991 to 2006 to examine the trend of mothers' time spent on children.