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Is it just a matter of personality? On the role of subjective well-being in childbearing behavior

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  • Le Moglie, Marco
  • Mencarini, Letizia
  • Rapallini, Chiara

Abstract

This paper analyses the role played by individual subjective well-being (SWB) in childbearing behavior. We use the German Socio Economic Panel (GSOEP) survey, which contains repeated information about SWB, childbearing events and, importantly, also measures of respondents’ personality, to estimate the way SWB matters for having a(nother) child, controlling for personality traits (PTs). We find that SWB positively predicts childbearing for women and men, with the effect significant (and sizeable) for both genders only for the second child. Furthermore, we assure that – although PTs are a strong component of SWB variability – the effect of SWB on fertility is not determined by PTs.

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  • Le Moglie, Marco & Mencarini, Letizia & Rapallini, Chiara, 2015. "Is it just a matter of personality? On the role of subjective well-being in childbearing behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 453-475.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:117:y:2015:i:c:p:453-475
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.07.006
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Subjective well-being; Fertility by parity; Personality traits; GSOEP survey;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior

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