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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. Clark, A.E., 1995. "Job Satisfaction and Gender: Why Are Women so Happy at Work?," DELTA Working Papers 95-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  2. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
  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. Doris Weichselbaumer & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2005. "A Meta-Analysis of the International Gender Wage Gap," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 479-511, 07.
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  7. Andrew E. Clark and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Satisfaction and Comparison Income," Economics Discussion Papers 419, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. Alois Stutzer & Rafael Lalive, . "The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being," IEW - Working Papers 051, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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  17. 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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  24. 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. 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. Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2010. "Happiness and public choice," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(3), pages 557-573, September.
  3. 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.
  4. Michela Ponzo, 2011. "Occupational Status and Individual Subjective Well-Being in Italy," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 3, September.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2006. "Should We Maximize National Happiness?," IEW - Working Papers 306, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  8. Djurdjevic, Dragana & Radyakin, Sergiy, 2005. "Decomposition of the Gender Wage Gap Using Matching: an Application for Switzerland," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 36794, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute of Economics (VWL).

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