Human Capital Endowments and Gender Differences in Subjective Well-Being in Chile

  • Javier G. BoncompteEmail author
  • Ricardo D. Paredes
Research Paper


We study the gender life satisfaction gap by using a non-linear version of the Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition to isolate the effect of human capital inequalities among men and women in Chile, a country with one of the lowest female labor force participation in the world. We test gender bias hypotheses through the way each individual values their own income in relation to their partner’s. We provide evidence the gender life satisfaction gap favoring men can be more than fully explained by the differences in endowments (e.g., income and education). Nonetheless, there are structural disparities in the way men and women value their endowments, especially their income and labor status. Regarding the partner’s income, we found personal income is always more valued than the partners, and that this difference is higher in the case of men. Finally, we find differences in the valuation of being out of the labor force. We interpret these findings as consequence of a high degree of sexism prevailing in Chile, which masks the full effect of material inequalities in people’s lives.


Subjective well-being Generalized Ordered Regression Sexism Gender differences 



This work has benefited from the comments of Marjorie Murray. We also thank the financial support for the Projects CIE01 from Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT), Centro de Estudios de Políticas y Prácticas en Educación (CEPPE) and Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT) No. 1140980.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EngineeringPontificia Universidad Católica de ChileMaculChile
  2. 2.School of EngineeringPontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Duoc UCMaculChile

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