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Wives’ gender identity, work hours, employment status, and life satisfaction: evidence from Japan

Jun Ando ()
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Jun Ando: Bukkyo University

International Journal of Economic Policy Studies, 2021, vol. 15, issue 1, No 7, 103-124

Abstract: Abstract This study examines the gender-identity hypothesis in the context of the work hours and life satisfaction of highly educated wives based on the prototype model in identity economics, using the survey concerning social life and time budget 2007 by the JTUC Research Institute for Advancement of Living Standards (RENGO-RIALS), Japan. The empirical analyses showed that, first, the gender-identity hypothesis was supported only for wives with children. Second, with or without children, wives’ life satisfaction declined sharply when they worked for more than 20 h. These findings suggest that gender identity was an important factor for Japanese wives with children when they were choosing their number of work hours outside the home and underlined the Japanese social behavioral norm that “wives with children should not work.” This research contributes to the study of the Homo economicus’s non-rational economic behaviors, thus deepening analysis of the relationship between gender identity and working time; furthermore, it better explains why women undersupply labor in the market despite being highly educated.

Keywords: Identity economics; Gender identity; Social norm; Life satisfaction; Part-time job (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B55 J16 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s42495-020-00052-z

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