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Approval of Equal Rights and Gender Differences in Well-Being

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  • Lalive, Rafael

    ()
    (University of Lausanne)

  • Stutzer, Alois

    ()
    (University of Basel)

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

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1202.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2010, 23 (3), 933-962
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1202

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

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References

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  1. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2001. "Understanding International Differences in the Gender Pay Gap," NBER Working Papers 8200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Albrecht, James & Björklund, Anders & Vroman, Susan, 2001. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," IZA Discussion Papers 282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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.
  4. Weichselbaumer, Doris & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2003. "A Meta-Analysis of the International Gender Wage Gap," CEPR Discussion Papers 4127, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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  7. Alois Stutzer, . "The Role of Income Aspirations in Individual Happiness," IEW - Working Papers 124, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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  10. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocitys," IEW - Working Papers 040, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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  14. Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Sousa-Poza, Andres A, 2000. "Taking Another Look at the Gender/Job-Satisfaction Paradox," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(2), pages 135-52.
  15. 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.
  16. Sandra E. Black & Philip E. Strahan, 2001. "The Division of Spoils: Rent-Sharing and Discrimination in a Regulated Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 814-831, September.
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  18. Alois Stutzer & Rafael Lalive, 2004. "The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 696-719, 06.
  19. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  20. 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.
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  22. 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.
  23. Barbezat, Debra A & Hughes, James W, 1990. "Sex Discrimination in Labor Markets: The Role of Statistical Evidence: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 277-86, March.
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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. Bruno S. Frey, . "Happiness Research: State and Prospects," IEW - Working Papers 192, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. Michela Ponzo, 2011. "Occupational Status and Individual Subjective Well-Being in Italy," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 3, September.
  7. Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2010. "Happiness and public choice," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(3), pages 557-573, September.
  8. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2006. "Should We Maximize National Happiness?," IEW - Working Papers 306, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.

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