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

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  • Luca Stanca

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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.

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File URL: http://dipeco.economia.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper173.pdf
File Function: First version, 2009
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Bibliographic Info

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

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision: Oct 2009
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:173

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

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References

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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
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  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. 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.
  4. Beja, Edsel Jr., 2014. "Parenthood and happiness: Direct and indirect impacts of parenthood on happiness," MPRA Paper 53870, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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