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Life Satisfaction of Career Women and Housewives

Author

Listed:
  • Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn

    () (Rutgers University
    Vistula University)

  • Rubia Rocha Valente

    () (The University of Texas at Dallas Public Policy and Political Economy
    Princeton University)

Abstract

Abstract Profound changes in gender roles have taken place over the past several decades in the United States. Women’s roles have changed most: women are marrying later in life and at lower rates, having fewer children, and working more outside of the household. “Career women” are the new normal and housewifery has gone out of fashion. At the same time, women have become less happy. We use the US General Social Surveys from 1972 to 2014 to explore these latest trends. We find that, until recently, women were happier to be housewives or to work part-time than full-time, especially, women who are older, married, with children, in middle or upper class, and living in suburbs or smaller places. The effect size of housewifery on subjective wellbeing (SWB) is mild to moderate, at about a fourth to a third of the effect of being unemployed. Therefore, we argue that one possible reason for the decline in average happiness for women was increased labor force participation. Yet, the happiness advantage of housewifery is declining among younger cohorts and career women may become happier than housewives in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn & Rubia Rocha Valente, 2018. "Life Satisfaction of Career Women and Housewives," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 13(3), pages 603-632, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ariqol:v:13:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11482-017-9547-2
    DOI: 10.1007/s11482-017-9547-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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