Nonstandard Work Schedules in 12 European Labor Markets: An Analysis of Gender Differentials

Harriet B. Presser, University of Maryland
Sangeeta Parashar, University of Maryland

This paper examines nonday and weekend employment in 12 European countries, based on data from the 2005 Labour Force Surveys. We present descriptive findings on prevalence, recognizing that variation in work schedule behavior among countries may reflect both differences in the nature of the labor force and cross-national variability in relevant public policies and collective agreements. We then focus on gender differences within countries, and employ regression analyses to assess the effect of gender after controlling for relevant labor force, demographic, and socio-economic factors. A central hypothesis is that nonday employment (usually working evenings, nights, or a rotating shift) is more characteristic of men, whereas weekend employment—which is more benign in its personal and familial consequences and disproportionately entails service-sector jobs—is more characteristic of women. Finally, for a subset of countries with data on parental status, we examine the relevance of children for employment at nonstandard times.

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Presented in Session 59: Cross-National Dimensions of Gender Inequality in the Labor Market