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Suffer the Little Children: Measuring the Effects of Parenthood on Well-Being Worldwide

  • Luca Stanca

    ()

This paper tests the rational-choice approach to fertility decisions by investigating the relationship between parenthood and well-being in a large sample of individuals from 94 countries. We find that world- wide, controlling for demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, having children has a negative effect on well-being. Conditioning on age, gender, marital status and education can only partially help to interpret this finding. We show that the negative effect of parent- hood on well-being is explained by a large adverse impact on financial satisfaction, that on average dominates the positive impact on non- financial satisfaction. The results are robust to alternative empirical specifications and to the inclusion of the reported ideal number of children as a proxy variable to address the endogeneity of parenthood decisions.

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File URL: http://dipeco.economia.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper173.pdf
File Function: First version, 2009
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Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 173.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision: Oct 2009
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:173
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  1. Gordon B. Dahl & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Demand for Sons: Evidence from Divorce, Fertility, and Shotgun Marriage," NBER Working Papers 10281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Blanchflower, David G., 2008. "International Evidence on Well-being," IZA Discussion Papers 3354, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Kevin Milligan, 2005. "Subsidizing the Stork: New Evidence on Tax Incentives and Fertility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 539-555, August.
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  28. repec:pse:psecon:2006-35 is not listed on IDEAS
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