ABSTRACT. Based on a household survey from China, this paper analyzes the effect of within-household relative income on happiness, taking into account the role of gender identity. Results show that the probability of being happy decreases significantly with the wife earning more income than her husband for both men and women from the households holding the traditional gender identity, i.e., the husband should be a breadwinner and the wife a homemaker. This is, however, not the case for those households without such a traditional view.

Keywords: happiness; within-household relative income; gender identity; China

How to cite: Shang, Qianqian, Wan-Hsin Liu, and Yongkun Yin (2018). “The Impact of within-Household Relative Income on Happiness: Does Gender Identity Matter?” Journal of Research in Gender Studies 8(2): 55–63.

Received 30 November 2017 • Received in revised form 9 April 2018
Accepted 10 April 2018 • Available online 28 April 2018


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Jinhe Center for Economic Research,
Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi
(corresponding author)
Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Kiel
Center for Monetary and Financial Studies, Madrid

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