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Parenthood and happiness: Direct and indirect impacts of parenthood on happiness

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  • Beja, Edsel Jr.

Abstract

Does parenthood bring happiness? This paper finds that the overall impact of parenthood on happiness is negative because the negative indirect impacts exceed the positive direct on happiness. What needs emphasizing is that, while the findings show that parenthood is still a positive status, parenthood undermines life domains in significant ways. In teasing out the different routes in which parenthood affects happiness, this paper thus highlights a problem with the standard conclusion in the extant literature: there is a conflation of the positive direct and negative indirect impacts of parenthood on happiness. The paper then argues that public policy and related programs can both strengthen the positive direct impact and help reverse the negative indirect impacts of parenthood on happiness.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 53870.

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Date of creation: 10 Feb 2014
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:53870

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Keywords: Parenthood; children; happiness; life domains; mediation;

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  1. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2005. "Does Marriage Make People Happy, Or Do Happy People Get Married?," IZA Discussion Papers 1811, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Rachel Margolis & Mikko Myrskylä, 2011. "A Global Perspective on Happiness and Fertility," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 37(1), pages 29-56, 03.
  3. Luis Angeles, 2010. "Children and Life Satisfaction," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 523-538, August.
  4. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 1999. "The macroeconomics of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-1999, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  6. Luis Angeles, 2010. "Erratum to: Children and Life Satisfaction," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 539-539, August.
  7. 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.
  8. Luca Stanca, 2009. "Suffer the Little Children: Measuring the Effects of Parenthood on Well-Being Worldwide," Working Papers 173, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2009.
  9. Robert Emmons & Ed Diener, 1985. "Factors predicting satisfaction judgments: A comparative examination," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 157-167, February.
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