Nonstandard Work-Schedule, Division of Housework and Partnership Dissolution in Europe

Ariane Pailhé , Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

A growing proportion of European workers have nonstandard work schedules: they work in the evening, at night, on weekends or have irregular work times. The aim of this study is to analyze the effect of nonstandard working hours on the risk of partnership dissolution and to analyze how this relationship is mediated by the division of domestic tasks. Previous literature has shown that working nonstandard hours increased separation particularly in recent marriages. Explanatory factors are stress and tiredness linked with work schedules, problems of reconciling work and private life, and poor synchronization of leisure activities between partners. Another mediator may related to their effect on the division of domestic tasks. The partner working nonstandard schedule may allocate more time to housework, because he or she disposes of more free time, which may lead to a more equal division of housework, increase well-being and thus decrease the risk of separation. Alternatively, decreasing work specialization between partners and/or being in a gender-atypical situation (the man perform more domestic tasks than his wife) because of nonstandard working hours it may lead to lower well-being and may increase the risk of separation. Using data from 2 waves of the Generation & Gender Survey in 6 European countries, we observe that men do more domestic tasks if they work nonstandard hours. First results on relationship dissolution clearly show that nonstandard work deteriorates relationship quality since it leads to a higher separation probability.

See extended abstract

 Presented in Session 100. Union Dissolution 2