His and Hers: Exploring Gender Puzzles and the Meaning of Life Satisfaction
Marina Della Giusta () and
Uma Kambhampati ()
No em-dp2008-65, Economics & Management Discussion Papers from Henley Business School, Reading University
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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