Working dads are happier when they earn more than their partner according to University of London boffins
The breadwinner stereotype still has an iron grip on men according to new research. Boffins at City University of London found that men are happier when they earn more than their partners. And when men earn less than their partners they are likely to report less life satisfaction.
They dubbed this effect the Partner Pay Gap. The researchers warned it entrenches gender stereotypes at home and at the workplace.
The findings suggest that men who give up the breadwinner role face high barriers. But also that those that do break free from the stereotype ought to be lauded and could be powerful role models.
The research drew on the findings of the UK Longitudinal Study, a huge research project stretching over many years. It found
Many men earn a ‘psychological dividend’ from recent increases in proportional household earnings. However they suffer a ‘psychological penalty’ when they are out-earned by their female partners. The researchers warn that the partner pay gap may actually be increasing. And this could entrench gender norms further making it harder for men and women to achieve the work life balance and family set up they want.
Lead author Dr Vanessa Gash, Deputy Head of City’s Department of Sociology, said: “These findings suggest that the partner pay gap is reinforced or supported by male breadwinning norms. This tendency was robust to multiple tests, and alternative specifications. It is a finding based on statistically representative data for the UK as a whole. Policy agendas which seek progressive change towards equality between the sexes need to clearly recognise divergent tendencies by sex in labour market behaviour.”