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Specialization and Happiness: A U.S.-Japan Comparison

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  • Ono, Hiroshi

    ()
    (Texas A&M University)

  • Lee, Kristen Schultz

    ()
    (University at Buffalo, SUNY)

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between specialization and happiness in marriage in the U.S. and Japan. Our findings, based on the General Social Surveys in the U.S. and Japan, indicate both similarities and differences in the determinants of marital happiness in the two countries. In the U.S., the findings are mixed. Women in the U.S. are more likely to embrace the bargaining model where their happiness is determined by their own income. Men in the U.S. are more likely to support the specialization model; they are happier if their wives are not working or, alternatively, if they are financially dependent on their wives. In Japan, we find support for the specialization model, particularly in the case of women; they are happier if they are specialized in the household and they have a higher household income. Our research highlights how marital quality is affected by the institutional context and the normative environment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 631.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 01 May 2006
Date of revision: 18 Feb 2008
Publication status: Published in Social Science Research, 2008, pages 1216-1234.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0631

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Web page: http://www.hhs.se/
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Keywords: gender; family; marital happiness; specialization; bargaining;

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  1. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  2. Andrew E. Clark and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Satisfaction and Comparison Income," Economics Discussion Papers, University of Essex, Department of Economics 419, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  3. repec:sae:ecolab:v:8:y:1997:i:1:p:128-128 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS), University of Warwick, Department of Economics 616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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