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Are Happiness and Productivity Lower among University Students with Newly-Divorced Parents? An Experimental Approach

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  • Proto, Eugenio

    () (University of Warwick)

  • Sgroi, Daniel

    () (University of Warwick)

  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    () (University of Warwick)

Abstract

We live in a high-divorce age. It is now common for university faculty to have students who are touched by a recent divorce. It is likely that parents themselves worry about effects on their children. Yet there has been almost no formal research into the important issue of how recent parental-divorce affects students at university. This paper designs such a study. In it, to avoid 'priming', we measure students' happiness with life before we inquire into their family background. We also measure student achievement in a randomized-trial productivity task. Our results seem both of scientific interest and of potential interest to parents. This study finds no evidence that students suffer after parental divorce

Suggested Citation

  • Proto, Eugenio & Sgroi, Daniel & Oswald, Andrew J., 2010. "Are Happiness and Productivity Lower among University Students with Newly-Divorced Parents? An Experimental Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 4755, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4755
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Shirley H. Liu, 2007. "Is My Parents' Divorce to Blame for My Failure in Life? A joint Model of Child Educational Attainments and Parental Divorce," Working Papers 0610, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
    2. Corak, Miles, 2001. "Death and Divorce: The Long-Term Consequences of Parental Loss on Adolescents," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 682-715, July.
    3. Andrew J. Oswald & Eugenio Proto & Daniel Sgroi, 2015. "Happiness and Productivity," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(4), pages 789-822.
    4. Libertad González Luna & Tarja Viitanen, 2008. "The long term effects of legalizing divorce on children," Economics Working Papers 1122, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    5. Collishaw, Stephan & Goodman, Robert & Pickles, Andrew & Maughan, Barbara, 2007. "Modelling the contribution of changes in family life to time trends in adolescent conduct problems," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(12), pages 2576-2587, December.
    6. Jonathan Gruber, 2004. "Is Making Divorce Easier Bad for Children? The Long-Run Implications of Unilateral Divorce," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 799-834, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Charles Henri DiMaria & Chiara Peroni & Francesco Sarracino, 2014. "Happiness matters: the role of well-being in productivity," Department of Economics University of Siena 699, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    2. Sgroi, Daniel & Proto, Eugenio & Oswald, Andrew J. & Dobson, Alexander, 2010. "Priming and the Reliability of Subjective Well-being Measures," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 935, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    3. Bert Van Landeghem, 2012. "Panel Conditioning and Self-Reported Satisfaction: Evidence from International Panel Data and Repeated Cross-Sections," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 484, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    divorce; experimental economics; happiness; well-being; labor productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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