Happiness, Housework and Gender Inequality in Europe

Maria Sironi, University of Pennsylvania
Letizia Mencarini, University of Turin and Collegio Carlo Alberto

Although the last few decades have seen a progressive increase of gender equality in almost all dimensions of society, roles concerning childcare and domestic work remains highly gender specific. Gender systems are likely to have an important impact on individuals’ well-being. The improved gender equality has enhanced the general wellbeing of women, although its extent may depend on the context in which women live and operate. This work considers the effect of the unequal division of labour within the household on the women’s own subjective assessment of happiness. We conduct the analysis using the European Social Survey data, including 26 European countries of the European region, and exploiting a multilevel model to investigate the determinants of women’s differing levels of happiness across countries. In particular, we examine to which extent gender equality at the country level is able to explain variation in happiness at the individual level.

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Presented in Session 184: Families and Well-Being in Comparative Perspective