The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness
University of Michigan
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics; The Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan; The Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Kiel Institute for the World Economy
CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP7311
By many objective measures the lives of women in the United States have improved over the past 35 years, yet we show that measures of subjective well-being indicate that women's happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men. The paradox of women's declining relative well-being is found across various datasets, measures of subjective well-being, and is pervasive across demographic groups and industrialized countries. Relative declines in female happiness have eroded a gender gap in happiness in which women in the 1970s typically reported higher subjective well-being than did men. These declines have continued and a new gender gap is emergingone with higher subjective well-being for men.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 50
Keywords: gender, happiness, job satisfaction, life satisfaction, subjective well-being, women's movement
JEL Classification: D6, I32, J1, J7, K1working papers series
Date posted: July 15, 2009
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