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Does a Better Job Match Make Women Happier?: Work Orientations, Work-Care Choices and Subjective Well-Being in Germany

By Ruud Muffels and Bauke Kemperman

Abstract

The study examines the effects of work orientations and work-leisure choices alongside the effect of genes or personality traits on subjective well-being (SWB). The former effects are assumed to be mediated by the match between women's preferred and actual number of working hours indicating labor market and time constraints. Data come from 24 waves of the German (SOEP) Household Panel (1984-2007). Random and fixed-effect panel regression models are estimated. Work orientations and work-leisure choices indeed matter for women's SWB but the effects are strongly mediated by the job match especially for younger birth cohorts and higher educated women. Therefore, apart from the impact of genes or personality traits preferences and choices as well as labor market and time constraints matter significantly for the well-being of women, providing partial support to the role (scarcity-expansion) theory and the combination pressure thesis while at the same time challenging set-point theory.Subjective well-being, set-point theory, life satisfaction, preference formation theory, role (scarcity-expansion) theory, job match, work-leisure choices, panel regression models

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