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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 argues that norms on the appropriate pay for women compared to men explain these findings. We take 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 narrows by one fifth due to an increase by one standard deviation in the approval. Rejecting an explanation in terms of discrimination, we find that employed women are less (not more) satisfied with life in liberal communities where the gender wage gap is smaller.

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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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  1. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
  2. Stutzer, Alois & Lalive, Rafael, 2001. "The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Ernst Fehr & Simon G�chter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
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  5. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," NBER Working Papers 7732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Stutzer, Alois, 2004. "The role of income aspirations in individual happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 89-109, May.
  7. Bowles, Hannah Riley & McGinn, Kathleen L., 2002. "When Does Gender Matter in Negotiation?," Working Paper Series rwp02-036, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  8. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," IEW - Working Papers 080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  9. Dorothe Bonjour & Michael Gerfin, 2001. "The unequal distribution of unequal pay - An empirical analysis of the gender wage gap in Switzerland," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 407-427.
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  12. Doris Weichselbaumer & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2003. "A meta-analysis of the international gender wage gap," Economics working papers 2003-11, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  13. Antecol, Heather & Kuhn, Peter, 2000. "Gender as an Impediment to Labor Market Success: Why Do Young Women Report Greater Harm?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 702-28, October.
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  18. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2008. "Learning from the Past," NBER Chapters, in: Heroes and Cowards: The Social Face of War National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  22. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1992. "The Gender Earnings Gap: Learning from International Comparisons," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 533-38, May.
  23. T.D. Stanley & Stephen B. Jarrell, 1998. "Gender Wage Discrimination Bias? A Meta-Regression Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(4), pages 947-973.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2005. "Happiness Research: State and Prospects," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 63(2), pages 207-228.
  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. 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).
  7. Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2010. "Happiness and public choice," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(3), pages 557-573, September.

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