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Who is happier: The housewife or working wife?


  • Beja, Jr., Edsel


The earlier studies that came out around the 1970s, as more and more women started to leave the homes, so to speak, and took paid work found no statistically significant difference in the happiness between the housewife and the working wife. This paper revisits the same issue using data from the 2000s but refining the focus of the analysis, namely: paid work is differentiated into full-time, part-time, or self-employment. The findings are still consistent with the earlier studies. What the paper finds more interesting, however, is that a disparity in the happiness between the housewife and the working wife is perhaps more because of idiosyncrasies shaped by culture and social context but less about the paid work status itself.

Suggested Citation

  • Beja, Jr., Edsel, 2012. "Who is happier: The housewife or working wife?," MPRA Paper 37551, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:37551

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Brodeur, Abel & Connolly, Marie, 2013. "Do higher child care subsidies improve parental well-being? Evidence from Quebec's family policies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 1-16.
    2. repec:hal:psewpa:halshs-00699671 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Happiness; life satisfaction; housewife; working wife;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • B54 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Feminist Economics

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