Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 20, Issue 7, pp 2227–2250 | Cite as

Earner Position and Job and Life Satisfaction: Do Contributions to the Household Income have the Same Effect by Gender and Occupations?

  • María NavarroEmail author
  • Wiemer Salverda
Research Paper


Using data from the 2013 module on well-being of EU-SILC, we analyze the effects of individual household earning positions in dual-earner and sole-earner couples on job and life satisfaction by gender at different occupational levels: low-skill jobs versus the rest. Our main findings indicate that the effects of such positions differ by gender for job satisfaction, but not for life satisfaction.For women there is no relation to the type of occupation, but men in elementary occupations are more satisfied with their job if they are the main earner in the household. Meanwhile women are more satisfied with their job if they make a substantial contribution to the total earnings of the household. In fact, considering the effects of job and socio-economic characteristics such as working hours and time spent on domestic tasks, women prefer to promote their career instead of keeping the traditional role with a focus on housework. However, factors such as the gender wage gap and cultural norms that tend to allocate the best positions to men complicate achieving an equivalent earnings distribution for the two genders.By contrast, men prefer maintaining their traditional role focused on paid work, with them being the unique earner. Finally, we find gender differences in the effects of several variables on job satisfaction, on the one hand, and life satisfaction, on the other hand, which are surprisingin light of the established view that the former is a great predictor of the latter.


Job satisfaction Life satisfaction Earner position Occupational levels Gender 



Financial support from the Government of Spain through scholarship FPU14/1123 from the Spanish Ministry of Education is acknowledged. Also, we would like to thank Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell and Ana I. Moro-Egido for their helpful and relevant suggestions and recommendations on how to improve our work, as well as the editors. All mistakes are solely ours.

Supplementary material

10902_2018_45_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (175 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 175 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dpto. Teoría e Historia EconómicaUniversidad de GranadaGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS)University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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