What Is the Effect of Cohabiting and Being Married on Job Satisfaction?

Elena Mariani, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

In this paper I investigate the effect of being in a union (marriage or cohabitation) on job satisfaction using all 18 waves of the British Household Panel Survey (1991-2008). The paper is motivated by the fact that family context is a factor largely understudied among the determinants of job satisfaction, while it is conceptually interesting because it broadens our understanding of workers' well-being. I find that married women are more satisfied with their jobs than their single and cohabiting counterparts. The effect of cohabitation on job satisfaction of women instead depends strongly on the degree of career continuity - and possibly work orientation. Partnership status instead is not a significant factor in explaining job satisfaction of men. Moreover, it is the legalisation of union through marriage that matters for job satisfaction, not just shared living arrangements.

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Presented in Session 49: The Impact of Marriage and Parenthood on Work: An International Perspective