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Are Happiness and Productivity Lower among University Students with Newly-Divorced Parents? An Experimental Approach

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Author Info

  • Sgroi, Daniel

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

  • Proto, Eugenio

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick and and Warwick Business School)

Abstract

We live in a high-divorce age. Parents worry about the possibility of negative effects upon their children. This paper tests whether recent parental-divorce has deleterious consequences for grown children. Under controlled conditions, it measures students’ happiness with life, and their productivity in a standardized laboratory task. No negative effects from divorce can be detected. If anything, happiness and productivity are greater, particularly among males, if they have experienced parental divorce. Using longitudinal BHPS data -- to control for fixed effects -- we cross-check this result on happiness. Again, the evidence suggests that young people’s mental well-being improves after parental divorce.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 937.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:937

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Keywords: Labor productivity ; divorce ; well-being ; happiness ; experimental economics JEL Codes: D03 ; J24 ; C91;

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  1. Gonzalez, Libertad & Viitanen, Tarja, 2008. "The Long Term Effects of Legalizing Divorce on Children," IZA Discussion Papers 3789, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Oswald, Andrew J. & Proto, Eugenio & Sgroi, Daniel, 2008. "Happiness and Productivity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 882, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  3. Collishaw, Stephan & Goodman, Robert & Pickles, Andrew & Maughan, Barbara, 2007. "Modelling the contribution of changes in family life to time trends in adolescent conduct problems," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(12), pages 2576-2587, December.
  4. Miles Corak, . "Death and Divorce: The Long Term Consequences of Parental Loss on Adolescents," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 39, McMaster University.
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Cited by:
  1. Sgroi, Daniel & Proto, Eugenio & Oswald, Andrew J. & Dobson, Alexander, 2010. "Priming and the Reliability of Subjective Well-being Measures," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 935, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Bert Van Landeghem, 2012. "Panel Conditioning and Self-Reported Satisfaction: Evidence from International Panel Data and Repeated Cross-Sections," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 484, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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