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The Role of Nonstandard Work Hours in Maternal Caregiving for Young Children


Author Info

  • Connelly, Rachel

    (Bowdoin College)

  • Kimmel, Jean

    (Western Michigan University)


This paper examines the effect of the timing of mothers’ daily work schedules on the amount of maternal caregiving she engages in on that same day. We look at total caregiving time on weekdays, early morning and evening caregiving time on weekdays, and total caregiving time on weekends. Since the timing of employment is, in part, a choice made by mothers, which is sometimes explicitly related to caregiving concerns, we argue that the decision to work nonstandard hours must be modeled jointly with its effect on caregiving time. Using an endogenous switching model, we examine the importance of demographic, spatial, and economic factors in mothers’ time choices distinctly by nonstandard work status. We find that the effect of additional children in the household has a larger effect on caregiving time for standard time workers than nonstandard workers, both weekdays and weekend. Especially important is the additional hours of evening care given by those with a young school-aged child if the mother works standard hours only, but no additional hours of evening care given by those with a young school-age child if the mother works any time after 6 pm. Being married reduces early morning and evening caregiving only if the mother is working in the early morning or the evening. In households with mothers working standard hours only, being married has no effect on mothers’ caregiving time. Finally, higher working mothers’ wages are associated with increased caregiving minutes both during the week and on the weekend only for those mothers who perform some of their paid employment during nonstandard hours.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3093.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'The Role of Non-standard Work Status in Parental Caregiving for Young Children ' in Eastern Economic Journal, 2011, 37 (2), 248-269
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3093

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Related research

Keywords: time use; nonstandard work hours; caregiving;

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Cited by:
  1. Berenice Monna & Anne Gauthier, 2008. "A Review of the Literature on the Social and Economic Determinants of Parental Time," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 634-653, December.
  2. Bryan, Mark L. & Sevilla, Almudena, 2014. "Flexible Working and Couples' Coordination of Time Schedules," IZA Discussion Papers 8304, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).


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