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Quasi-experimental evidence for the causal link between fertility and subjective well-being

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  • Jan Priebe

    (University of Göttingen
    German Institute of Global and Area Studies)

Abstract

This article presents causal evidence on the impact of fertility on women’s subjective well-being using quasi-experimental variation due to preferences for a mixed sibling sex composition (having at least one child of each sex). Based on a large sample of women from 35 developing countries, I find that having children increases mothers’ life satisfaction and happiness. I further establish that the positive impact of fertility on subjective well-being can be explained by related increases in mothers’ satisfaction with family life, friendship, and treatment by others.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Priebe, 2020. "Quasi-experimental evidence for the causal link between fertility and subjective well-being," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(3), pages 839-882, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:33:y:2020:i:3:d:10.1007_s00148-020-00769-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-020-00769-3
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Causality; Fertility; Happiness; Subjective well-being; Local average treatment effect;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income

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