Nonstandard Work Schedules and Their Effects on Mothers' Subjective Well-Being

Thursday, 19 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Akiko OISHI, Chiba University, Japan
Tomo NISHIMURA, Kwansei Gakuin 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. Faced with the challenges of shrinking population, the Japanese government has been encouraging mothers to work long hours by increasing capacities of day care centers and relaxing employment regulations. This labor market trend has raised concerns about its potential impact on mothers' subjective well-being and life satisfaction because those who work nonstandard hours often find it more difficult to reconcile work and family responsibilities than those mothers who work only daytime. The issue is more important for single-mothers as they are more likely to work nonstandard hours than their married counterparts despite their being the sole earner and carer of the family (Li et al. 2014; Oishi 2017). Notwithstanding the growing concern over the prevalence of long working hours, there have been few studies that explicitly focus on mothers' nonstandard work schedules and their possible impact on mothers' subjective well-being. Thus, using longitudinal data set on mothers with children, we investigate how mothers' work schedules affect their subjective well-being and quality of life, by paying special attention to the family structure. Our research departs from existing studies in that we control for mother-specific fixed effects by utilizing a panel data.