DP7311 The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness
|Author(s):||Betsey Stevenson, Justin Wolfers|
|Publication Date:||June 2009|
|Keyword(s):||gender, happiness, job satisfaction, life satisfaction, subjective well-being, women's movement|
|JEL(s):||D6, I32, J1, J7, K1|
|Programme Areas:||Labour Economics, Public Economics|
|Link to this Page:||www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=7311|
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 emerging—one with higher subjective well-being for men.