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Gender Differences in Subjective Well-Being in and out of Management Positions

  • Trzcinski, Eileen

    ()

    (Wayne State University, Detroit)

  • Holst, Elke

    ()

    (DIW Berlin)

This study used data from the German Socio-economic Panel to examine gender differences in the extent to which self-reported subjective well-being was associated with occupying a high-level managerial position in the labour market, compared with employment in non-leadership, non-high-level managerial positions, unemployment, and non-labour market participation. Our results indicated that a clear hierarchy exists for men in term of how status within the labour market was associated with subjective life satisfaction. Unemployed men were the least satisfied, followed by men who were not in the labour market, while men in leadership positions reported the highest level of subjective life satisfaction. For women, no statistically significant differences were observed among women in high-level managerial positions, women who worked in non-high-level positions, and women who specialized in household production, with no market work. Only women who were unemployed reported lower levels of life satisfaction, compared with women in other labour-market statuses. Our results lend evidence to the contention that men can "have it all", but women must still choose between career and family in Germany. We argue that interventions need to address how the non-pecuniary rewards associated with high-level managerial and leadership positions can be increased for women. Such policies would also likely serve to mitigate the "pipeline" problem concerning the number of women who are available to move into high positions in the private sector.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5116.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Social Indicators Research, [online first]
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5116
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  1. Elke Holst & Anne Busch, 2009. "Glass Ceiling Effect and Earnings: The Gender Pay Gap in Managerial Positions in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 201, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  2. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  3. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
  4. Golden, Lonnie & Wiens-Tuers, Barbara, 2006. "To your happiness? Extra hours of labor supply and worker well-being," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 382-397, April.
  5. Ulrich Schimmack & Jürgen Schupp & Gert Wagner, 2008. "The Influence of Environment and Personality on the Affective and Cognitive Component of Subjective Well-being," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 89(1), pages 41-60, October.
  6. Goldsmith, Arthur H. & Veum, Jonathan R. & Darity, William Jr., 1996. "The psychological impact of unemployment and joblessness," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 333-358.
  7. de Jonge, Jan & Bosma, Hans & Peter, Richard & Siegrist, Johannes, 2000. "Job strain, effort-reward imbalance and employee well-being: a large-scale cross-sectional study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 50(9), pages 1317-1327, May.
  8. Elke Holst, 2006. "Women in Managerial Positions in Europe: Focus on Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 557, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  9. Stephanie Seguino, 2007. "PlusCa Change? evidence on global trends in gender norms and stereotypes," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 1-28.
  10. Elke Holst & Anita Wiemer, 2010. "Women Still Greatly Underrepresented on the Top Boards of Large Companies," Weekly Report, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 6(7), pages 45-53.
  11. Elke Holst & Julia Schimeta, 2009. "Nach wie vor kaum Frauen in den Top-Gremien großer Unternehmen," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 76(18), pages 302-309.
  12. Wendy Campione, 2008. "Employed Women’s Well-Being: The Global and Daily Impact of Work," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 346-361, September.
  13. Clemens Tesch-Römer & Andreas Motel-Klingebiel & Martin Tomasik, 2008. "Gender Differences in Subjective Well-Being: Comparing Societies with Respect to Gender Equality," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 85(2), pages 329-349, January.
  14. Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, 1999. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Studies in Economics 9903, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  15. Carol Nickerson & Norbert Schwarz & Ed Diener, 2007. "Financial aspirations, financial success, and overall life satisfaction: who? and how?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 467-515, December.
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