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Paradox Lost: The Disappearing Female Job Satisfaction Premium

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  • Colin P. Green
  • John S. Heywood
  • Parvinder Kler
  • Gareth Leeves

Abstract

Using the original data source of Clark, we show that over the last two decades the female satisfaction gap he documented has vanished. This reflects a strong secular decline in female job satisfaction. This decline happened both because younger women became less satisfied as they aged, and because new female workers entered with lower job satisfaction than their early 1990s peers. Decompositions make clear that the decline does not reflect changing job characteristics for women but rather their increasingly less favourable evaluation of job characteristics. These findings fit with the suggestion that women in the early 1990s had a gap between their labour market expectations and actual experience that has since closed and that the gender satisfaction gap has vanished as a consequence.

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  • Colin P. Green & John S. Heywood & Parvinder Kler & Gareth Leeves, 2018. "Paradox Lost: The Disappearing Female Job Satisfaction Premium," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 56(3), pages 484-502, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:56:y:2018:i:3:p:484-502
    DOI: 10.1111/bjir.12291
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    Cited by:

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    2. Perugini, Cristiano & Vladisavljević, Marko, 2019. "Gender inequality and the gender-job satisfaction paradox in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 129-147.
    3. Andrew E. Clark, 2018. "Four Decades of the Economics of Happiness: Where Next?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 64(2), pages 245-269, June.
    4. Clark, Andrew E. & D’Ambrosio, Conchita & Zhu, Rong, 2021. "Job quality and workplace gender diversity in Europe," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 420-432.
    5. Maryam Dilmaghani, 2022. "Revisiting the gender job satisfaction paradox: The roots seem to run deep," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 60(2), pages 278-323, June.
    6. Montgomery, Mallory, 2022. "Reversing the gender gap in happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 196(C), pages 65-78.
    7. Clark, Andrew E. & Kozák, Michal, 2023. "Twenty Years of Job Quality in OECD Countries: More Good News?," IZA Discussion Papers 16597, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Tullia Russo & Tindara Addabbo & Ylenia Curzi & Barbara Pistoresi, 2020. "Human Resource Practices, Job Satisfaction and Perceived Discrimination(s) at the Workplace," International Business Research, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 13(9), pages 1-63, September.
    9. Georgellis, Yannis & Clark, Andrew E. & Apergis, Emmanuel & Robinson, Catherine, 2022. "Occupational status and life satisfaction in the UK: The miserable middle?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 204(C), pages 509-527.
    10. Adolfo Cosme Fernández & Nuria Sánchez, 2020. "Once in the Public Sector, Do Differences in Job Satisfaction by Sex Disappear?," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 234(3), pages 75-104, September.
    11. Sandra Buchler & Alfred M. Dockery, 2023. "Women’s work: myth or reality? Occupational feminisation and women’s job satisfaction in Australia," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 26(1), pages 51-83.
    12. Cheryl Carleton & Mary T. Kelly, 2022. "Happy at Work - Possible at Any Age?," Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series 51, Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics.
    13. Burone, Santiago & Méndez, Luciana, 2022. "Are women and men equally happy at work? Evidence from PhD holders at a public university in Uruguay," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 97(C).
    14. Vasilios D. Kosteas, 2023. "Job satisfaction and employer‐sponsored training," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 61(4), pages 771-795, December.
    15. Artz, Benjamin & Heywood, John S., 2020. "Unions, Worker Participation and Worker Well-Being," GLO Discussion Paper Series 705, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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