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Mothers, work and well-being
Talk at TEDxBerlin on 6 September 2014 (YouTube video)


Press articles

Lucía Macchia, Anke C. Plagnol and Nattavudh Powdthavee (2019). Why do people tolerate income inequality? Harvard Business Review.​

Lucía Macchia and Anke C. Plagnol (2018). Life ratings and trust in institutions in South America. Gallup blog.

Media coverage


Subjective well-being and the gender pay gap in couples

Mind the pay gap - Men unhappy when wives earn more (2020): Sunday Times; GraziaMail online; The Telegraph; MSN Money;  

in French (2020): Le Monde; C News

Income inequality, income comparisons and subjective


Earning more than your peers buys more happiness in more unequal countries 

Media coverage (2019): TechRound; Financial Advisor Magazine; The Telegraph; Finanzwelt 

Brexit and subjective well-being


Media coverage (2019): Open Access GovernmentThe Daily Mail; Men's Health Forum;   
Facebook and SWB

Personality and Facebook use

Yahoo Finance (2016)

Work-life balance


A woman's work is never done?

One of the greatest social changes across Europe in recent decades has been the increase of women in the labour market. However, changes in women’s work patterns have not always been matched by changes in the division of household tasks between the sexes, reveals a study from the European Social Survey (ESS). So perhaps not unfairly women often feel their work is never done, with those working full-time still responsible, on average, for around two-thirds of the total time heterosexual couples spend on housework. However, with women doing most of the housework this can lead to feelings of work-life conflict - for men! The 'double-burden' of paid and domestic work on women’s experiences of work-family conflict was also explored, which found that despite the added burden of being responsible for most of the housework, women in these countries working full-time did not experience greater feelings of work-life conflict than men working similar hours. In fact, these findings from a large study by the ESS suggest that it may be men rather than women who have the most to gain from a more equal distribution of housework between the sexes.

Northern European men whose female partners did most of the housework were more likely to experience work-family conflict, compared with men who took on a larger share of the housework. Perhaps men in this situation feel guilty for not doing their fair share or perhaps the unequal division of household tasks creates tension between them and their partner?


Media coverage (2013):

ESRC press releaseESS Findings booklet (page 9); The Sunday Times; BBC Radio Manchester (segment begins at 2:45:00) 

Men are happier when they do their fair share of household chores

A major survey of gender inequality in contemporary society has found lingering echoes of old-fashioned, “male breadwinner” values, but also evidence that men are happier when they do their fair share of household chores. The findings are among dozens of results that have emerged from a five-year research

project investigating equality between the sexes, and which are now being published in a book, Gendered Lives. One of the studies in the book found that men are actually happier when they make an equal contribution to household chores. This research, which spanned Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Britain, set data from the European Social Survey on how much people experience work-life conflict alongside other measures of their well-being. The participants were then asked how much time they spent on tasks like cooking, washing, cleaning, shopping and property

maintenance. The academics expected to find that men’s work-family conflict rose, and their well-being fell, when they did more housework. In practice, they found the opposite, with conflict falling, and well-being going up. The study suggests that this may be because more men support gender equality, so they feel uncomfortable if they don’t do their fair share, and because women are becoming more assertive and making their dissatisfaction with lazy partners plain!

Articles (2012):

Telegraph; Daily Mail; New Zealand Herald; Independent; ABC News; MyFox (article and video)

Concepts of quality of life

Happiness hinges on the lives of others
People’s happiness is significantly bound up with that of their “significant others”, a new study into men and women’s differing attitudes to well-being has found. Sociologists at the University of Cambridge found that although men and women give different answers when asked about what affects their quality of life, many in fact associate personal happiness with the welfare of families and loved ones at a deeper level. The Cambridge study, which appears in the book Gender Inequalities in the 21st Century (published by Edward Elgar) was carried out by Professor Jacqueline Scott, Dr. Anke Plagnol and Dr. Jane Nolan.

Articles (2010):
Telegraph; Independent; New Zealand Herald; Express; The Medical News; Cambridge News; WM Magazine

Happiness: How being a man or a woman makes a difference
Short article in Britain in 2009 (page 100) describes research by Jacqueline Scott, Jane Nolan and Anke Plagnol.


Women end up less happy than men
Less able to achieve their life goals, women end up unhappier than men later in life – even though they start out happier, reveals new research by Anke Plagnol of the University of Cambridge, and University of Southern California economist Richard Easterlin.

In English (2008):
CBS News (article) (video); BusinessWeek; Daily Mail; Ottawa Citizen; USA Today; Telegraph; Washington Post

In German (2008 and 2009):
Zeit; Sueddeutsche; Spiegel; Focus; Bild; Sueddeutsche (2008)

Marriage and Happiness


Happy? Let's Sum It Up
Researchers tap the `dismal science' of economics to quantify well-being. It isn't money that leaves you feeling like a million.
By Stuart Silverstein, Los Angles Times, July 3, 2006

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