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Gender Differences in Mental Well-Being: a Decomposition Analysis

  • David Madden


The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) is frequently used as a measure of mental well-being. A consistent pattern across countries is that women report lower levels of mental well-being, as measured by the GHQ. This paper applies decomposition techniques to Irish data for 1994 and 2000 to examine the factors lying behind the gender differences in GHQ score. For both 1994 and 2000 about two thirds of the raw difference is accounted for by differences in characteristics, with employment status the single most important factor.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Indicators Research.

Volume (Year): 99 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 101-114

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Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:99:y:2010:i:1:p:101-114
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  1. Javier Gardeazabal & Aratza Ugidos, . "More on identification in detailed wage decompositions," Studies on the Spanish Economy 140, FEDEA.
  2. Ronald L. Oaxaca & Michael R. Ransom, 1999. "Identification in Detailed Wage Decompositions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 154-157, February.
  3. David Madden, 2009. "Mental stress in Ireland, 1994-2000: a stochastic dominance approach," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(10), pages 1202-1217.
  4. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
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  6. Bauer, Thomas K. & Göhlmann, Silja & Sinning, Mathias, 2006. "Gender Differences in Smoking Behavior," RWI Discussion Papers 44, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI).
  7. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "Is Well-Being U-Shaped over the Life Cycle?," IZA Discussion Papers 3075, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. David Neumark, 1987. "Employers' discriminatory behavior and the estimation of wage discrimination," Special Studies Papers 227, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. repec:rwi:dpaper:0049 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Emslie, Carol & Fuhrer, Rebecca & Hunt, Kate & Macintyre, Sally & Shipley, Martin & Stansfeld, Stephen, 2002. "Gender differences in mental health: evidence from three organisations," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 621-624, February.
  11. Thomas Bauer & Mathias Sinning, 2008. "An extension of the Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition to nonlinear models," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer, vol. 92(2), pages 197-206, May.
  12. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  13. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
  14. Nolan, Brian & Gannon, Brenda & Layte, Richard & Watson, Dorothy & Whelan, Christopher T. & Williams, James, 2002. "Monitoring Poverty Trends in Ireland: Results from the 2000 Living in Ireland survey," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS45.
  15. Ashenfelter, Orley & Oaxaca, Ronald, 1987. "The Economics of Discrimination: Economists Enter the Courtroom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 321-25, May.
  16. Even, William E. & Macpherson, David A., 1990. "Plant size and the decline of unionism," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 393-398, April.
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