Nonstandard Employment, Gender, and Subjective Well-Being in Japan

Jia Wang, James M. Raymo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examines how relationships between nonstandard employment (NSE) and subjective well-being (SWB) differ by gender in Japan, paying particular attention to employees' motivation for engaging in NSE, their marital status, and their spouses' employment status. Background: The expansion of nonstandard work is a gendered phenomenon that has contributed to increasing economic uncertainty and insecurity and may have differential implications for the SWB of men and women. Japan's rapid increase in nonstandard work, rigid labor market, and strong gender norms provide a valuable context in which to investigate the interrelationships between NSE, gender, and SWB. Method: Fixed effects regression models with data from the Keio Household Panel Survey, a panel survey of a nationally representative sample of men and women, were used. Results: Involuntary nonstandard work was associated, on average, with significantly lower SWB for both men and women. This pattern was held for men, regardless of marital status, whereas it was observed for unmarried women, but not for married women. Within married couples, no significant relationships between spouses' involuntary nonstandard work and respondents' own SWB were found. Conclusion: The expansion of NSE in Japan has negative consequences for individuals' subjective life evaluation, except for married women, who shoulder domestic responsibilities and thereby types of employment may be less salient to SWB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)845-864
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • Japan
  • gender
  • marriage
  • nonstandard employment
  • well-being


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