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Does parenthood increase happiness? Evidence for Poland

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  • Anna Baranowska
  • Anna Matysiak

Abstract

In the recent decade demographers turned their attention to investigating the effects of children on self-rated happiness or life satisfaction. The underlying idea of this strand of research is to find out whether it pays off for individuals to become parents in terms of their subjective well-being, given the costs of having children. Following this line of research, this article studies the impacts of childbearing on individual-level happiness in Poland; a country which experienced a rapid decline in fertility despite the particularly strong attachment of young Poles to family values. To this end, we applied methods for panel data analysis which allowed us to control for endogeneity of subjective well-being and parenthood. Our results reveal a significantly positive effect of the first child on the subjective well-being of mothers. For men, this impact is weaker and most likely temporary since it weakens with the child's increasing age. An important finding is that neither for men nor for women does the positive impact of parenthood rise with an increase in parity. This may explain the persistence of low fertility in this country.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna in its journal Vienna Yearbook of Population Research.

Volume (Year): 9 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 307-325

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Handle: RePEc:vid:yearbk:v:9:y:2011:i:1:p:307-325

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Web page: http://www.oeaw.ac.at/vid/

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Cited by:
  1. Arnstein Aassve & Anna Barbuscia & Letizia Mencarini, 2014. "Expected happiness from childbearing and its realization," Working Papers 062, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
  2. Mikko Myrskylä & Rachel Margolis, 2012. "Happiness: before and after the kids," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2012-013, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  3. Mikko Myrskylä & Rachel Margolis, 2014. "Happiness - before and after the Kids," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 642, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  4. Switek, Malgorzata, 2013. "Explaining Well-Being over the Life Cycle: A Look at Life Transitions during Young Adulthood," IZA Discussion Papers 7877, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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