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Happiness and childbearing across Europe

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  • Arnstein Aassve
  • Maria Sironi
  • Alice Goisis

Abstract

In this paper we analyse the relationship between happiness and childbearing taking a comparative perspective. We argue that fertility and happiness are somewhat linked and we investigate whether there are important differences across European countries. Using happiness as a welfare measure offers important benefits over income especially when interest lies in understanding how individuals' wellbeing is associated with childbearing outcomes. We use the European Social Survey (ESS) and apply simple regression techniques, controlling for country differences, and find indeed a positive and significant association between happiness and childbearing. However, parents do not appear to be consistently happier in some countries than in others. The final set of analyses reveals a very strong interconnection between, childbearing, partnership and happiness.

Suggested Citation

  • Arnstein Aassve & Maria Sironi & Alice Goisis, 2009. "Happiness and childbearing across Europe," Working Papers 010, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
  • Handle: RePEc:don:donwpa:010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    happiness; childbearing; European social survey; ESS;
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