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Are Pregnant Women Happier? Racial Differences in the Relationsip Between Pregnancy and Life Satisfaction

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  • Paul, Hagstrom
  • Stephen, Wu

Abstract

This paper uses data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to study the relationship between pregnancy and life satisfaction for women of childbearing age. The results show strong differences by race. Pregnancy has the strongest positive correlation with happiness for Whites, a smaller but still statistically significant positive correlation for Hispanics, and no relationship for Blacks. The results cannot be explained by differences in other demographics such age, income, education, or marital status. Within each racial group, the results hold across different categories for all these characteristics. There is evidence that racial differences in the effects of pregnancy on emotional and social support from others can partly explain this result.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 24853.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24853

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Keywords: pregnancy; life satisfaction; racial differences;

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  1. Oswald, A.J., 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Papers, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics 18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  2. Luis Angeles, 2009. "Do children make us happier?," Working Papers, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow 2009_10, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  3. Andrew E. Clark & Ed Diener & Yannis Georgellis & Richard E. Lucas, 2008. "Lags And Leads in Life Satisfaction: a Test of the Baseline Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(529), pages F222-F243, 06.
  4. Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "Money and mental wellbeing: A longitudinal study of medium-sized lottery wins," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 49-60, January.
  5. Blanchflower, David G., 2009. "Happiness and Health Care Coverage," IZA Discussion Papers 4450, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  7. Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew J., 2005. "Do Divorcing Couples Become Happier By Breaking Up?," IZA Discussion Papers 1788, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Oswald, Andrew J. & Wu, Stephen, 2010. "Objective Confirmation of Subjective Measures of Human Well-being: Evidence from the USA," IZA Discussion Papers 4695, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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