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Approval of Equal Rights and Gender Differences in Well-Being

  • Rafael Lalive
  • Alois Stutzer

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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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2004/wp-cesifo-2004-07/cesifo1_wp1245.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1245.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1245
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  1. Dorothe Bonjour & Michael Gerfin, 2001. "The unequal distribution of unequal pay - An empirical analysis of the gender wage gap in Switzerland," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 407-427.
  2. Stutzer, Alois, 2004. "The role of income aspirations in individual happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 89-109, May.
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  4. 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.
  5. 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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  8. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. 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).
  10. Doris Weichselbaumer & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2003. "A meta-analysis of the international gender wage gap," Economics working papers 2003-11, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  11. Alois Stutzer & Rafael Lalive, . "The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being," IEW - Working Papers 051, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  12. Antecol, Heather & Kuhn, Peter, 2000. "Gender as an Impediment to Labor Market Success: Why Do Young Women Report Greater Harm?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 702-28, October.
  13. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
  14. 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.
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  16. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
  17. Manning, Alan, 2003. "The real thin theory: monopsony in modern labour markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 105-131, April.
  18. Solnick, Sara J, 2001. "Gender Differences in the Ultimatum Game," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 189-200, April.
  19. 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.
  20. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  21. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2008. "Learning from the Past," NBER Chapters, in: Heroes and Cowards: The Social Face of War National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Kuhn, Peter J, 1987. "Sex Discrimination in Labor Markets: The Role of Statistical Evidenc e," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 567-83, September.
  23. 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.
  24. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," NBER Working Papers 7732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  26. 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.
  27. Bowles, Hannah Riley & McGinn, Kathleen L., 2002. "When Does Gender Matter in Negotiation?," Working Paper Series rwp02-036, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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