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      Deconstructing Gender Differences in Experienced Well-Being Among Older Adults in the Developing World: The Roles of Time Use and Activity-Specific Affective Experiences


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          Due to declining fertility rates and increasing longevity, the world is growing older. Improving the quality of life of older adults, and not merely preventing deaths, is thus becoming an important objective of public policies. It is, therefore, urgent to understand the key dimensions of older adults’ subjective well-being as well as their main drivers. Women represent a large proportion of the older population, and existing evidence suggests that they may be particularly vulnerable, especially in the developing world. Analyzing potential gender differences in experienced well-being in older adults is hence crucial. We exploit information on time use and activity-specific emotional experiences from the abbreviated version of the day reconstruction method contained in the WHO Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE), focusing on five developing countries. We first quantify gender differences in experienced well-being among older adults, which we then deconstruct into corresponding differences in time use and activity-specific net affects. Adjusting for age only, our results indicate a gender gap in experienced well-being in favor of men. Yet, adjusting for additional individual characteristics and life circumstances beyond age weakens this association. Illustrative counterfactual analyses further suggest that gender differences in activity-specific net affects appear more important than differences in time use for explaining the disadvantage of older women. Our results suggest that women’s lower affect in most activities is linked to the conditions under which these activities are performed, and in particular to the higher level of disability of older women compared to men of the same age.

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          Most cited references33

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          A survey method for characterizing daily life experience: the day reconstruction method.

          The Day Reconstruction Method (DRM) assesses how people spend their time and how they experience the various activities and settings of their lives, combining features of time-budget measurement and experience sampling. Participants systematically reconstruct their activities and experiences of the preceding day with procedures designed to reduce recall biases. The DRM's utility is shown by documenting close correspondences between the DRM reports of 909 employed women and established results from experience sampling. An analysis of the hedonic treadmill shows the DRM's potential for well-being research.
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            Do we really know what makes us happy? A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being

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                Author and article information

                Soc Indic Res
                Soc Indic Res
                Social Indicators Research
                Springer Netherlands (Dordrecht )
                24 July 2020
                24 July 2020
                : 160
                : 2-3
                : 757-790
                GRID grid.9851.5, ISNI 0000 0001 2165 4204, Faculty of Business and Economics, , University of Lausanne, ; Internef, Chamberonne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
                Author information
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                : 6 July 2020
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001711, Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung;
                Award ID: 400640_160374
                Award Recipient :
                Original Research
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                © Springer Nature B.V. 2022

                Public health
                experienced well-being,subjective well-being,day reconstruction method (drm),gender,older adults,low- and middle-income countries


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