On Gender Inequality and Life Satisfaction: Does Discrimination Matter?

University of St. Gallen, Economics Discussion Paper No. 2007-07

30 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2007

See all articles by Justina A. V. Fischer

Justina A. V. Fischer

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD); Stockholm School of Economics; University of Hohenheim

Christian Bjørnskov

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Center for Political Studies; Institute for Corruption Studies

Axel Dreher

Heidelberg University

Date Written: April 2007

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of gender discrimination on individual life satisfaction using a cross-section of 66 countries. We employ measures of discrimination of women in the economy, in politics, and in society more generally. According to our results, discrimination in politics is important to individual well-being. Overall, men and women are more satisfied with their lives when societies become more equal. Disaggregated analysis suggests that our results for men are driven by the effect of equality on men with middle and high incomes, and those on the political left. To the contrary, women are more satisfied with increasing equality independent of income and political ideology. Equality in economic and family matters does overall not affect life satisfaction. However, women are more satisfied with their lives when discriminatory practices have been less prevalent in the economy 20 years ago.

Keywords: Gender gap, happiness, well-being, discrimination, life satisfaction

JEL Classification: I31, J16

Suggested Citation

Fischer, Justina A.V. and Bjørnskov, Christian and Dreher, Axel, On Gender Inequality and Life Satisfaction: Does Discrimination Matter? (April 2007). University of St. Gallen, Economics Discussion Paper No. 2007-07. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=980629 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.980629

Justina A.V. Fischer (Contact Author)

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

Stockholm School of Economics

PO Box 6501
Stockholm, 11383
Sweden

University of Hohenheim

Fruwirthstr. 48
Stuttgart, 70599
Germany

Christian Bjørnskov

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Fuglesangs Allé 4
Aarhus V, DK-8210
Denmark

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Center for Political Studies

Landgreven 3
Copenhagen K, DK-1301
Denmark

Institute for Corruption Studies

Stevenson Hall 425
Normal, IL 61790-4200
United States

Axel Dreher

Heidelberg University ( email )

Grabengasse 1
Heidelberg, 69117
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.axel-dreher.de

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