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Gender and Life Satisfaction in the UK


  • Marina Della Giusta
  • Sarah Louise Jewell
  • Uma Kambhampati


This contribution analyzes the variations in reported life satisfaction for men and women in the United Kingdom. While average levels of life satisfaction are similar for men and women, the variations in life satisfaction are more marked for women. Analyzing the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) for 1996-2007, the paper finds that hours of paid work increase life satisfaction for both men and women, while housework hours are statistically significant only for retired men and women. Childcare (for children ages 3 to 4 years) and caring for adults affect women's life satisfaction negatively but are statistically insignificant for men. Some of these differences might be explained by the fact that women and men in the sample assign differing weights to satisfaction with different life dimensions. Job satisfaction, in particular, matters much more to men than to women.

Suggested Citation

  • Marina Della Giusta & Sarah Louise Jewell & Uma Kambhampati, 2011. "Gender and Life Satisfaction in the UK," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 1-34.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:17:y:2011:i:3:p:1-34 DOI: 10.1080/13545701.2011.582028

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gschwandtner, Adelina & Jewell, Sarah L. & Kambhampati, Uma, 2015. "On the Relationship between Lifestyle and Happiness in the UK," 89th Annual Conference, April 13-15, 2015, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 204199, Agricultural Economics Society.
    2. Sarinda Taengnoi, 2014. "Economic man and social woman: Determinants of immigrants' life satisfaction," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(3), pages 1530-1549.
    3. Marina Della Giusta & Antonia Fernandez & Sarah Jewell, 2017. "Happy at University? Student Well-being and the Value of Higher Education," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2017-01, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    4. Fernandez, Antonia & Della Giusta, Marina & Kambhampati, Uma S., 2015. "The Intrinsic Value of Agency: The Case of Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 92-107.
    5. Suwastika Naidu, 2016. "Does Human Development Influence Women’s Labour Force Participation Rate? Evidences from the Fiji Islands," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 1067-1084, July.
    6. Janneke Plantenga, 2015. "The economics of gender equality; a review of the literature in three propositions and two questions," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 104, WWWforEurope.
    7. Mikko Myrskylä & Rachel Margolis, 2014. "Happiness: Before and After the Kids," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(5), pages 1843-1866, October.
    8. Wojtek Tomaszewski & Francisco Perales, 2014. "Who Settles for Less? Subjective Dispositions, Objective Circumstances, and Housing Satisfaction," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 118(1), pages 181-203, August.
    9. Mikko Myrskylä & Rachel Margolis, 2014. "Happiness - before and after the Kids," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 642, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    10. Sarah Jewell & Uma Kambhampati, 2015. "Are Happy Youth Also Satisfied Adults? An Analysis of the Impact of Childhood Factors on Adult Life Satisfaction," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 121(2), pages 543-567, April.
    11. Mikko Myrskylä & Rachel Margolis, 2012. "Happiness: before and after the kids," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2012-013, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    12. Krista Lynn Minnotte & Michael C. Minnotte & Krista Thompson, 2016. "The Life Satisfaction of Dual-Earner Mothers and Fathers: Does Flexible Scheduling Matter?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(6), pages 2365-2388, December.


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