Precarious work has emerged as a serious challenge and major concern in the contemporary world that has widespread consequences for many individual, family and social outcomes.  Why has there been a rise in precarious work in rich democracies, with their high standards of living and privileged positions in the world economy?  How and why do people experience precarious work differently in countries with dissimilar institutions and cultures?  This talk addresses these questions by examining how social welfare protection and labor market institutions and policies shape the consequences of precarious work for job and economic insecurity, the transition to adulthood and family formation and subjective well-being by comparing six rich democracies representing diverse models of capitalism: Social Democratic nations (Denmark); coordinated market economies (Germany, Japan, Spain); and liberal market economies (the United Kingdom and United States).