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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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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2004/wp-cesifo-2004-07/cesifo1_wp1245.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1245.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1245

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Keywords: equal rights; gender discrimination; gender wage gap; social norms; subjective well-being.;

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References

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  1. Dorothe Bonjour & Michael Gerfin, 1997. "The Unequal Distribution of Unequal Pay - An Empirical Analysis of the Gender Wage Gap in Switzerland," Diskussionsschriften dp9702, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Janssen, Simon & Tuor Sartore, Simone N. & Backes-Gellner, Uschi, 2014. "Social Attitudes on Gender Equality and Firms' Discriminatory Pay-Setting," IZA Discussion Papers 7959, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Happiness Research: State and Prospects," IEW - Working Papers 190, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2006. "Should We Maximize National Happiness?," IEW - Working Papers 306, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Uwe Jirjahn, 2011. "Gender, Worker Representation and the Profitability of Firms in Germany," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 8(2), pages 281-298, December.
  7. Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2010. "Happiness and public choice," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(3), pages 557-573, September.

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