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His and Hers: Exploring Gender Puzzles and the Meaning of Life Satisfaction

  • Marina Della Giusta

    ()

    (School of Economics, University of Reading)

  • Uma Kambhampati

    ()

    (School of Economics, University of Reading)

Our paper contributes to current debates around work-life balance and the efficiency and wellbeing costs associated with different models of work and childcare (Gregory and Connolly, 2008). It also contributes from a gender perspective to the life satisfaction literature by providing a test for the hypothesis that women and men with children attribute different meanings to overall life satisfaction. We begin by presenting a conventional model of life satisfaction for British parents in wave 8 of the British Household Panel Survey which includes childcare arrangements; and move on to discuss the possibility that women and men have a different understanding of what matters in life and what constitutes life satisfaction, and accordingly we explore the role of dimensions of life satisfaction in overall life satisfaction. Finally, we try to account for observed differences between women and men and explain some of the paradoxes encountered in the literature on women and work-life balance, and on policy based on happiness scores.

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Paper provided by Henley Business School, Reading University in its series Economics & Management Discussion Papers with number em-dp2008-65.

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Length: 11 pages
Date of creation: 17 Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rdg:emxxdp:em-dp2008-65
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  1. Di Tella, Rafael & Alesina, Alberto & MacCulloch, Robert, 2004. "Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?," Scholarly Articles 4553007, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
  3. Di Tella, R. & MacCulloch, R.J.: Oswald, A.J., 1997. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," Papers 19, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  4. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2008. "Does happiness adapt? A longitudinal study of disability with implications for economists and judges," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1061-1077, June.
  5. Marina Della Giusta & Uma Kambhampati, 2006. "Women migrant workers in the UK: social capital, well-being and integration," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(6), pages 819-833.
  6. AlisonL. Booth & JanC. vanOurs, 2008. "Job Satisfaction and Family Happiness: The Part-Time Work Puzzle," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(526), pages F77-F99, 02.
  7. Richard Layard, 2006. "Happiness and Public Policy: a Challenge to the Profession," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages C24-C33, 03.
  8. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  9. John Hudson, 2006. "Institutional Trust and Subjective Well-Being across the EU," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 43-62, 02.
  10. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
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