Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Institute of Economics
How well they cope? Gender Differences in Effects of Labor Market Status and Education on Subjective Well-Being across European welfare states - before and after the crisis
In high-income countries, women report a higher level of life satisfaction than men on average, but score lower on short-term positive and negative emotions and suffer from higher levels of depression - and the picture gets complicated with age, life cycle,employment, income, family status etc. This positive gender gap in subjective life satisfaction is a puzzle,as women would have several objective reasons to be less satisfied with their life and their professional situation through persistent disadvantages in the labour market (lower wages,more part-time, glass-ceiling), access to education, access to power etc. Moreover ample evidence exist about the strong role of institutions, norms, social context and thus spatial/country or region-specific differences in terms of how objective aspects of wellbeing are perceived subjectively . E.g. OECD 2015 states that, as well as having low levels of income inequality Nordic countries tend to have much smaller differences in quality of life outcomes – including gender and age-related differences .
This research will investigate what determines gender differences in subjective well-being across old and new EU member states and also across different welfare regimes. One goal is to estimate individual specific effects of labor market status, education level , family status/parenthood , household structure, work-life balance, household distribution of tasks over perceptions of their own well-being as well as trying to identify differences before and after the crisis. However, the major focus of this research is to check whether country-specificities in some macroeconomic factors and institutional arrangements( labor market/unemployment benefit, maternity leave, child care and social policy schemes) have any effect on gender aspects of subjective well-being - thereby allowing a comparison of not only countries belonging to Western and Eastern Europe (EU15 vs EU12) but also along different welfare state regimes in EU (expanded Esping-Andersen typology etc.) of Nordic, Continental EU, Southern EU, Anglo-Saxon and CEE countries.