This project investigates the effects of precarious work on family life in Europe. So far research on precarious work has mainly focused on effects on the labour market itself. However, with an increasing fragmentation of work histories, we have to expand our focus beyond the labour market and analyse the effects of non-traditional work forms on the lives of individuals and their families. Traditional assumptions about the separation of work life and private life are no longer feasible since working time and non-working time become increasingly interconnected in both a short-term and a long-term perspective. Being exposed to high labour market risks over the life course is likely to lead to changes in social behaviour and consequently to new social outcomes, which in turn require adjusted labour market policies. Exposure to risk may be especially consequential in critical life course periods which coincide with the need to make long-term commitments (such as in partnership and parenthood). This research project pins down the social effects of precarious work along two crucial dimensions of family life: (1) fertility and family formation and (2) family organisation and within-family time-use. It focuses on Germany, Italy, Poland, Sweden and the UK, representing five different welfare state regimes. From a methodological perspective, this research programme integrates economic and sociological research, also combining quantitative (i.e. microeconometric) and qualitative (i.e. case study) research. While micro-datasets and various national time-use data allow an analysis of fertility and within-family time-use, additional qualitative case studies in the above mentioned countries provide an in-depth analysis of the impact of precarious work on the life of families.
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