Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Suffer the Little Children: Measuring the Effects of Parenthood on Well-Being Worldwide

Contents:

Author Info

  • Luca Stanca

    ()

Abstract

This paper tests the rational-choice approach to fertility decisions by investigating the relationship between parenthood and well-being in a large sample of individuals from 94 countries. We find that world- wide, controlling for demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, having children has a negative effect on well-being. Conditioning on age, gender, marital status and education can only partially help to interpret this finding. We show that the negative effect of parent- hood on well-being is explained by a large adverse impact on financial satisfaction, that on average dominates the positive impact on non- financial satisfaction. The results are robust to alternative empirical specifications and to the inclusion of the reported ideal number of children as a proxy variable to address the endogeneity of parenthood decisions.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://dipeco.economia.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper173.pdf
File Function: First version, 2009
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 173.

as in new window
Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision: Oct 2009
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:173

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Piazza Ateneo Nuovo, 1 Milano 20126
Phone: +39 02 6448 3089
Fax: +39 02 6448 3085
Email:
Web page: http://dipeco.economia.unimib.it
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: well-being; fertility; children; decision-making;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Andrew E. Clark, 2006. "Born to be mild? Cohort effects don't explain why well-being is U-shaped in age," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590307, HAL.
  2. Frey, Bruno S & Stutzer, Alois, 2000. "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 918-38, October.
  3. Andrew E. Clark & Ed Diener & Yannis Georgellis & Richard E. Lucas, 2007. "Lags and leads in life satisfaction: a test of the baseline hypothesis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19656, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Alesina, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2004. "Inequality and happiness: are Europeans and Americans different?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2009-2042, August.
  5. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2006. "Does marriage make people happy, or do happy people get married?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 326-347, April.
  6. Di Tella, R. & MacCulloch, R.J.: Oswald, A.J., 1997. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," Papers 19, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  7. David G. Blanchflower, 2009. "International Evidence on Well-Being," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring the Subjective Well-Being of Nations: National Accounts of Time Use and Well-Being, pages 155-226 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Thomas Hansen & Britt Slagsvold & Torbjørn Moum, 2009. "Childlessness and Psychological Well-Being in Midlife and Old Age: An Examination of Parental Status Effects Across a Range of Outcomes," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 94(2), pages 343-362, November.
  9. Max Haller & Markus Hadler, 2006. "How Social Relations and Structures can Produce Happiness and Unhappiness: An International Comparative Analysis," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 75(2), pages 169-216, 01.
  10. van Praag, B. M. S. & Frijters, P. & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A., 2003. "The anatomy of subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 29-49, May.
  11. Catherine Hakim, 2003. "A New Approach to Explaining Fertility Patterns: Preference Theory," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 29(3), pages 349-374.
  12. Winkelmann, Rainer, 2004. "Subjective Well-Being and the Family: Results from an Ordered Probit Model with Multiple Random Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 1016, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Kevin Milligan, 2005. "Subsidizing the Stork: New Evidence on Tax Incentives and Fertility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 539-555, August.
  14. Debra Friedman & Michael Hechter & Satoshi Kanazawa, 1994. "A theory of the value of children," Demography, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 375-401, August.
  15. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli, 2006. "Fertility: The Role of Culture and Family Experience," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 552-561, 04-05.
  16. Oswald, A.J., 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Papers 18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  17. Dolan, Paul & Peasgood, Tessa & White, Mathew, 2008. "Do we really know what makes us happy A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
  18. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
  19. Francesco C. Billari & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2002. "Patterns of lowest-low fertility in Europe," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-040, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  20. Bruni, Luigino & Stanca, Luca, 2008. "Watching alone: Relational goods, television and happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 506-528, March.
  21. Arnstein Aassve & Maria Sironi & Alice Goisis, 2009. "Happiness and childbearing across Europe," Working Papers 010, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
  22. Hung-Lin Tao, 2005. "The effects of income and children on marital happiness — evidence from middle- and old-aged couples," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(8), pages 521-524.
  23. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
  24. Gordon B. Dahl & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Demand for Sons: Evidence from Divorce, Fertility, and Shotgun Marriage," NBER Working Papers 10281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Hans-Peter Kohler & Jere R. Behrman & Axel Skytthe, 2005. "Partner + Children = Happiness? The Effects of Partnerships and Fertility on Well-Being," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 31(3), pages 407-445.
  26. Joseph Rodgers & Hans-Peter Kohler & Kirsten Kyvik & Kaare Christensen, 2001. "Behavior genetic modeling of human fertility: findings from a contemporary danish twin study," Demography, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 29-42, February.
  27. Stephan Meier & Alois Stutzer, 2008. "Is Volunteering Rewarding in Itself?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(297), pages 39-59, 02.
  28. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2006. "Some Uses of Happiness Data in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 25-46, Winter.
  29. Mariano Rojas, 2006. "Life satisfaction and satisfaction in domains of life: is it a simple relationship?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 467-497, November.
  30. Luis Angeles, 2009. "Do children make us happier?," Working Papers 2009_10, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  31. Bruce Sacerdote & James Feyrer, 2008. "Will the Stork Return to Europe and Japan? Understanding Fertility Within Developed Nations," NBER Working Papers 14114, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Gary S. Becker, 1960. "An Economic Analysis of Fertility," NBER Chapters, in: Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries, pages 209-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. repec:pse:psecon:2006-35 is not listed on IDEAS
  34. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Children & happiness
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2009-11-09 14:34:58
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Daniele Vignoli & Elena Pirani & Silvana Salvini, 2014. "Family Constellations and Life Satisfaction in Europe," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 117(3), pages 967-986, July.
  2. Anna Baranowska & Anna Matysiak, 2011. "Does parenthood increase happiness? Evidence for Poland," Working Papers 38, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
  3. Dolores Pushkar & Dorothea Bye & Michael Conway & Carsten Wrosch & June Chaikelson & Jamshid Etezadi & Constantina Giannopoulos & Karen Li & Nassim Tabri, 2014. "Does Child Gender Predict Older Parents’ Well-Being?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 118(1), pages 285-303, August.
  4. Maria Pereira & Filipe Coelho, 2013. "Work Hours and Well Being: An Investigation of Moderator Effects," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 235-253, March.
  5. Thomas Hansen, 2012. "Parenthood and Happiness: a Review of Folk Theories Versus Empirical Evidence," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 108(1), pages 29-64, August.
  6. Beja, Edsel Jr., 2014. "Parenthood and happiness: Direct and indirect impacts of parenthood on happiness," MPRA Paper 53870, University Library of Munich, Germany.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:173. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roberto Reale).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.