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On Gender Inequality and Life Satisfaction: Does Discrimination Matter?

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Author Info

  • Bjørnskov, Christian

    ()
    (Aarhus School of Business)

  • Dreher, Axel

    ()
    (ETH Zurich, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, and CESifo)

  • Fischer, Justina AV

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of gender discrimination on individual life satisfaction using a cross-section of 66 countries. We employ measures of discrimination of women in the economy, in politics, and in society more generally. According to our results, discrimination in politics is important to individual well-being. Overall, men and women are more satisfied with their lives when societies become more equal. Disaggregated analysis suggests that our results for men are driven by the effect of equality on men with middle and high incomes, and those on the political left. To the contrary, women are more satisfied with increasing equality independent of income and political ideology. Equality in economic and family matters does overall not affect life satisfaction. However, women are more satisfied with their lives when discriminatory practices have been less prevalent in the economy 20 years ago.

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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 657.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 08 Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0657

Note: Final version, submitted
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Keywords: Gender gap; happiness; well-being; discrimination; life satisfaction;

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References

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  1. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2005. "Income and well-being: an empirical analysis of the comparison income effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 997-1019, June.
  2. Busse, Matthias & Spielmann, Christian, 2004. "Gender Inequality and Trade," HWWA Discussion Papers 308, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  3. David Neumark & Wendy A. Stock, 2006. "The Labor Market Effects of Sex and Race Discrimination Laws," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(3), pages 385-419, July.
  4. Shah, Sumitra, 2006. "Sexual Division of Labor in Adam Smith's Work," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(02), pages 221-241, June.
  5. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000. "Maximising Happiness?," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(2), pages 145-167, 05.
  6. Claudia Goldin, 2006. "The Quiet Revolution that Transformed Women's Employment, Education, and Family," NBER Working Papers 11953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina A. V. Fischer, 2005. "The bigger the better? Evidence of the effect of government size on life satisfaction around the world," CER-ETH Economics working paper series, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich 05/44, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  8. Theodossiou, I., 1998. "The effects of low-pay and unemployment on psychological well-being: A logistic regression approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 85-104, January.
  9. Wellington, Alison J., 2006. "Self-employment: the new solution for balancing family and career?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 357-386, June.
  10. Lesley J. Turner & Sheldon Danziger & Kristin S. Seefeldt, 2006. "Failing the Transition from Welfare to Work: Women Chronically Disconnected from Employment and Cash Welfare," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 87(2), pages 227-249.
  11. Choi, Jin Young & Lee, Sang-Hyop, 2006. "Does prenatal care increase access to child immunization? Gender bias among children in India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 107-117, July.
  12. S. Fernando Rodriguez & Theodore R. Curry & Gang Lee, 2006. "Gender Differences in Criminal Sentencing: Do Effects Vary Across Violent, Property, and Drug Offenses?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 87(2), pages 318-339.
  13. David Neumark & Michele McLennan, 1995. "Sex Discrimination and Women's Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 713-740.
  14. Michele J. Siegel, 2006. "Measuring the effect of husband's health on wife's labor supply," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(6), pages 579-601.
  15. 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.
  16. Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2006. "Traditional Institutions Meet the Modern World: Caste, Gender, and Schooling Choice in a Globalizing Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1225-1252, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2009. "The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 7311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina A.V. Fischer, 2005. "Cross-Country Determinants of Life Satisfaction: Exploring Different Determinants across Groups in Society," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2005, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen 2005-19, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  3. Brule, Gael & Veenhoven, Ruut, 2012. "Why are Latin Europeans less happy? The impact of hierarchy," MPRA Paper 41925, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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