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The pursuit of happiness: Does gender parity in social institutions matter?

Gaëlle Ferrant, Alexandre Kolev and Caroline Tassot

No 337, OECD Development Centre Working Papers from OECD Publishing

Abstract: The OECD has long argued that the ultimate goal of public policies is to improve the quality of our lives. But what makes us happy? Does living in a country guaranteeing equal rights and opportunities to women and men increase people’s happiness? This paper shows that gender based discrimination in social institutions, measured by the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI), impedes well-being, beyond its negative impact on economic growth and GDP. Both men and women are happier when living in a country where social institutions offer equal rights and opportunities to women and men, even when taking into account country and individual characteristics. Current gender-based discrimination in social institutions fuels a decline of 4.4% in the world average level of life satisfaction. Conversely, eliminating gender-based discrimination in social institutions could reduce the share of the “unhappy” population from 14% to 5% globally. L'OCDE a longtemps soutenu que l’objectif ultime des politiques publiques était d'améliorer notre qualité de vie. Mais qu'est-ce qui nous rend heureux? Vivre dans un pays garantissant l'égalité des droits et des chances aux femmes et aux hommes augmente-t-il notre bonheur? Cette étude montre que les discriminations envers les femmes au sein des institutions sociales, mesurées par l’indicateur institutions sociales et égalité femme-homme (SIGI), réduisent le bien-être des individus, au-delà de son impact négatif sur la croissance économique et le PIB. Les hommes et les femmes sont plus heureux quand ils vivent dans un pays où les institutions sociales leur offrent des droits et opportunités égaux. L’étude estime que le niveau actuel de discrimination envers les femmes au sein des institutions sociales induit une perte de bien-être de 4.4 % au niveau mondial. Réciproquement, l’élimination de toutes formes de discriminationsenvers les femmes au sein des institutions sociales réduirait la proportion d’individus insatisfaits de 14 % à 5 % au niveau mondial.

Keywords: gender inequality; social institutions; subjective well-being (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D60 I31 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gen, nep-hap and nep-pke
Date: 2017-03-08
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:oec:devaaa:337-en

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