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Approval of equal rights and gender differences in well-being

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  • Rafael Lalive

    ()

  • Alois Stutzer

    ()

Abstract

Women earn less than men but are not less satisfied with life. This paper explores whether norms regarding the appropriate pay for women compared to men may explain these findings. In order to capture the spatial variation in such norms, we take community level information on citizens’ approval of an equal rights amendment to the Swiss constitution as a proxy for the norm that “women and men shall have the right to equal pay for work of equal value”. We find that the gender wage gap is smaller where a larger fraction of the citizenry has voted in favor of equal pay. We also find that employed women are less (not more) satisfied with life in liberal communities where the gender wage gap is smaller. These findings are consistent with the idea that norms regarding the appropriate relative pay of women compared to men are shaping gender differences in well-being.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 933-962

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:23:y:2010:i:3:p:933-962

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Related research

Keywords: Gender discrimination; Gender wage gap; Subjective well-being; I31; J70; Z13;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "Happiness Research: State and Prospects," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-10, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  2. Uwe Jirjahn, 2011. "Gender, Worker Representation and the Profitability of Firms in Germany," Research Papers in Economics 2011-06, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
  3. Dragana Djurdjevic & Sergiy Radyakin, 2007. "Decomposition of the Gender Wage Gap Using Matching: An Application for Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 143(IV), pages 365-396, December.
  4. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2006. "Should We Maximize National Happiness?," IEW - Working Papers 306, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. Stefan Boes & Rainer Winkelmann, 2010. "The Effect of Income on General Life Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 111-128, January.
  6. Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2010. "Happiness and public choice," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(3), pages 557-573, September.
  7. Michela Ponzo, 2011. "Occupational Status and Individual Subjective Well-Being in Italy," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 3, September.
  8. Simon Janssen & Simone N. Tuor Sartore & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2013. "Social Attitudes on Gender Equality and Firms' Discriminatory Pay-Setting," Working Papers 327, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).

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