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Subjective well-being and the gender composition of the reference group: Evidence from a survey experiment

Fumagalli, Elena and Fumagalli, Laura (2022) 'Subjective well-being and the gender composition of the reference group: Evidence from a survey experiment.' Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 194. pp. 196-219. ISSN 0167-2681

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Abstract

This paper tests how people’s subjective well-being reacts when they compare themselves with other people of the same gender, and if this reaction differs between women and men. We implement a randomized control trial prompting some respondents to compare themselves with people of the same gender and leaving the reference group of others unconstrained. Treated women report higher income and leisure satisfaction. Evaluating satisfaction in relation to a given reference group may be cognitively demanding. When accounting for this, we find that the treatment also increases women’s health satisfaction. No or small effects are found for men, suggesting that the reference group affects subjective well-being reporting of men and women differently.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gender differences; Well-being; RCT
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2022 12:25
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2022 12:25
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/33439

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