November 15, 2020
This article uses random and fixed effects regressions with 743,788 observations from panels of East and West Germany, the UK, Australia, South Korea, Russia, Switzerland and the United States. It shows how the life satisfaction of men and especially fathers in these countries increases steeply with paid working hours. In contrast, the life satisfaction of childless women is less related to long working hours, while the life satisfaction of mothers hardly depends on working hours at all. In addition, women and especially mothers are more satisfied with life when their male partners work longer, while the life satisfaction of men hardly depend on their female partners’ work hours. These differences between men and women are starker where gender attitudes are more traditional. They cannot be explained through differences in income, occupations, partner characteristics, period or cohort effects. These results contradict role expansionist theory, which suggests that men and women profit similarly from moderate work hours; they support role conflict theory, which claims that men are most satisfied with longer and women with shorter work hours.
Social Indicators Research
Volume and page numbers
Volume: 152 , p.317 -334
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