Technical Report Gender inequality and the gender job satisfaction paradox in Europe

Vladisavljević, Marko  ,  Perugini, Cristiano

2018-03 , Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University
Although women are paid less than men, face worse working conditions, lower promotion opportunities, and work-place discrimination, they typically report job satisfaction higher or similar to men's. Twenty years ago Clark (Clark, 1997) suggested that the reason behind women's higher job satisfaction are their lower expectations, driven by a number of factors related to current and past positions of women on the labour market. Although this hypothesis is one of the leading explanations of the gender differences in the job satisfaction, cross-country research investigating the relationship between the gender inequality and gender job satisfaction gap are rare and only descriptive. In this paper we use the data from EU-SILC module on subjective well being from 2013 to analyse adjusted gender job satisfaction gaps in 32 European countries and relate them to the country differences in gender inequalities. Results provide extensive and robust evidence of a relationship between exposure to more gender equal settings in the early stages of life and smaller gender gaps in job satisfaction, once all other possible drivers are controlled for. This suggests that women who experienced higher gender equality have expectations increasingly aligned to those of their male counterparts. Our results also show that this alignment is further favoured by being employed in typically male occupations, whereas higher levels of education do not play a similar effect.

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