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Does income moderate the satisfaction of becoming a parent? In Germany it does and depends on education

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  • Marco Le Moglie

    (Bocconi University)

  • Letizia Mencarini

    (Bocconi University)

  • Chiara Rapallini

    (University of Florence)

Abstract

We investigate the role of individual labor income as a moderator of parental subjective well-being trajectories before and after the birth of the first child in Germany. Analyzing the German Socio-Economic Panel Survey (SOEP), we found that income matters negatively for parental life satisfaction after the first birth, though with important differences by education and gender. In particular, among better educated parents, those with higher income experience a steeper decrease in their subjective well-being. Income is measured as the average of individual labor income within 3 years before the birth. We provide evidence that our results are robust to potential endogeneity between income and first childbirth using the individual labor income at 3 years from the event, and for an alternative measure, i.e. the equivalent household income. Results are discussed in terms of different aspirations and difficulties parents may experience, especially in terms of work and family balance.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Le Moglie & Letizia Mencarini & Chiara Rapallini, 2019. "Does income moderate the satisfaction of becoming a parent? In Germany it does and depends on education," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 915-952, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:32:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s00148-018-0689-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-018-0689-9
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    Cited by:

    1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew E. Clark, 2021. "Children, unhappiness and family finances," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 625-653, April.
    2. Sonja Spitzer & Angela Greulich & Bernhard Hammer, 2018. "The Subjective Cost of Young Children: A European Comparison," VID Working Papers 1812, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.
    3. Yu, Shuye & Postepska, Agnieszka, 2020. "Flexible Jobs Make Parents Happier: Evidence from Australia," IZA Discussion Papers 13700, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    First child; Subjective well-being; Individual income; Education; Germany;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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