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Does parenthood increase happiness? Evidence for Poland

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  • Anna Baranowska
  • Anna Matysiak

    (Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics)

Abstract

In the recent decade demographers turned their attention to investigating the effects of children on self-rated happiness or life satisfaction. The underlying idea of this strand of research is to find out whether it pays off to individuals to become parents in terms of their subjective wellbeing, given the costs of having children. This paper follows this line of research and studies the impacts of childbearing on individual-level happiness in Poland; a country which experienced a rapid decline in fertility despite particularly strong attachment of young Poles to family values. To this end, we applied methods for panel data analysis which allowed us to control for endogeneity of subjective well-being and parenthood. Our results reveal a significantly positive effect of the first child on the subjective well-being of mothers. For men, this impact is weaker and most likely temporary since it weakens with an increase in child’s age. Importantly, neither for men nor for women does the positive impact of parenthood rise with an increase in parity. This may explain persistence of low fertility in this country.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Baranowska & Anna Matysiak, 2011. "Does parenthood increase happiness? Evidence for Poland," Working Papers 38, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isd:wpaper:38
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    Cited by:

    1. Mikucka, Malgorzata, 2015. "How does parenthood affect life satisfaction in Russia?," MPRA Paper 65376, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Arnstein Aassve & Bruno Arpino & Nicoletta Balbo, 2016. "It Takes Two to Tango: Couples’ Happiness and Childbearing," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 32(3), pages 339-354, August.
    3. Doris Hanappi & Oliver Lipps, 2019. "Job insecurity and parental well-being: The role of parenthood and family factors," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 40(31), pages 897-932.
    4. Anna Matysiak & Letizia Mencarini & Daniele Vignoli, 2016. "Work–Family Conflict Moderates the Relationship Between Childbearing and Subjective Well-Being," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 32(3), pages 355-379, August.
    5. Switek, Malgorzata, 2013. "Explaining Well-Being over the Life Cycle: A Look at Life Transitions during Young Adulthood," IZA Discussion Papers 7877, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Malgorzata Switek & Richard A. Easterlin, 2018. "Life Transitions and Life Satisfaction During Young Adulthood," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 297-314, January.
    7. Akanksha Choudhary & Ashish Singh, 2018. "Effect of intergenerational educational mobility on health of Indian women," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(9), pages 1-16, September.
    8. Mikko Myrskylä & Rachel Margolis, 2014. "Happiness: Before and After the Kids," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(5), pages 1843-1866, October.
    9. Michal Brzezinski, 2019. "Diagnosing Unhappiness Dynamics: Evidence from Poland and Russia," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 20(7), pages 2291-2327, October.
    10. Mikko Myrskylä & Rachel Margolis, 2014. "Happiness - before and after the Kids," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 642, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    11. Arnstein Aassve & Anna Barbuscia & Letizia Mencarini, 2014. "Expected happiness from childbearing and its realization," Working Papers 062, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    12. Zheng Mu & Yu Xie, 2016. "'Motherhood penalty' and 'fatherhood premium'? Fertility effects on parents in China," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 35(47), pages 1373-1410.
    13. Mikko Myrskylä & Rachel Margolis, 2012. "Happiness: before and after the kids," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2012-013, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    14. Małgorzata Mikucka & Ester Rizzi, 2020. "The Parenthood and Happiness Link: Testing Predictions from Five Theories," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 36(2), pages 337-361, April.
    15. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    happiness ; life satisfaction; fertility; childbearing; parenthood;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income

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