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The Long-Lasting Effects of Family and Childhood on Adult Wellbeing: Evidence from British Cohort Data

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  • Flèche, Sarah
  • Lekfuangfu, Warn
  • Clark, Andrew E.

Abstract

To what extent do childhood experiences continue to affect adult wellbeing over the life course? Previous work on this link has been carried out either at one particular adult age or for some average over adulthood. We here use two British birth-cohort datasets (the 1958 NCDS and the 1970 BCS) to map out the time profile of the effect of childhood experiences on adult outcomes, including life satisfaction. We find that the effects of many aspects of childhood do not fade away over time but are rather remarkably stable. In both birth-cohorts, child non-cognitive skills are the strongest predictors of adult life satisfaction at all ages. Of these, emotional health is the strongest. Childhood cognitive performance is more important than good conduct in explaining adult life satisfaction in the earlier NCDS cohort, whereas this ranking is inverted in the more recent BCS.

Suggested Citation

  • Flèche, Sarah & Lekfuangfu, Warn & Clark, Andrew E., "undated". "The Long-Lasting Effects of Family and Childhood on Adult Wellbeing: Evidence from British Cohort Data," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1803, CEPREMAP.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpm:docweb:1803
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrén, Daniela & Clark, Andrew E & D´Ambrosio, Conchita & Karlsson, Sune & Pettersson, Nicklas, 2017. "Subjective and physiological measures of well-being: an exploratory analysis using birth-cohort data," Working Papers 2017:8, Örebro University, School of Business.
    2. Andrew E. Clark & Tom Lee, 2017. "Early-life correlates of later-life well-being: Evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study," PSE Working Papers halshs-01570052, HAL.
    3. Marta Barazzetta & Andrew E. Clark & Conchita D'Ambrosio, 2017. "Childhood Circumstances and Young Adulthood Outcomes: The Effects of Mothers' Financial Problems," PSE Working Papers halshs-01622334, HAL.
    4. Emily McDool, 2018. "Class Setting and Children’s Non-Cognitive Outcomes," Working Papers 2018008, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    life satisfaction; cohort data; childhood; adult outcomes;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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