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The 24/7 economy and the health and wellbeing of family and children in Germany
We are witnessing an important transition from post-industrial economies to service economies, so called the "24/7 economy." A 24 hours/7 days economy demands services around the clock, and this has underpinned the rise in work schedules in evenings, nights, and weekends (so called "shift work or "nonstandard work schedules ). This labour market trend has raised concerns about its possible impacts on families and children. Research in this field is limited and much of this work has been conducted in the US, with no study on this topic in Germany. This project aims to examine the potential impact of working nonstandard schedules on parents and children in Germany, using three complementary, nationally representative panel datasets (Socio-economic Panel (SOEP), Familien in Deutschland (FiD) and Panel Analysis of Intimate Relationships and Family Dynamics (pairfam)). Our broad research questions are: Do parents work nonstandard schedules more often than workers with no children in order to meet child care needs? Do such schedules have a negative impact on parental health, wellbeing, parenting behaviour, and union dissolution? Are there negative consequences for children s physical and mental health and academic achievement? If so, what are the mediating factors? Does the impact differ by child and parent socio-demographic characteristics? These issues are critically important for social, economic and workplace policy, particularly in the context of increases in dual earner families in Germany. Social scientists have long been focusing on education, occupational status, employment, and income when investigating the health and wellbeing of adult workers and their families. Our project aims to examine a less-well understood dimension of social stratification and its impact on the wellbeing of family and children. This dimension is not the type of occupations and jobs parents engage themselves in nor unemployment, but it is when they participate in the labour market. The project will make an important contribution to our understanding of social inequality in the globalizing, service economy.
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