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Are Pregnant Women Happier? Racial Differences in the Relationsip Between Pregnancy and Life Satisfaction

Author

Listed:
  • Paul, Hagstrom
  • Stephen, Wu

Abstract

This paper uses data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to study the relationship between pregnancy and life satisfaction for women of childbearing age. The results show strong differences by race. Pregnancy has the strongest positive correlation with happiness for Whites, a smaller but still statistically significant positive correlation for Hispanics, and no relationship for Blacks. The results cannot be explained by differences in other demographics such age, income, education, or marital status. Within each racial group, the results hold across different categories for all these characteristics. There is evidence that racial differences in the effects of pregnancy on emotional and social support from others can partly explain this result.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul, Hagstrom & Stephen, Wu, 2010. "Are Pregnant Women Happier? Racial Differences in the Relationsip Between Pregnancy and Life Satisfaction," MPRA Paper 24853, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24853
    as

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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/24853/1/MPRA_paper_24853.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Oswald, Andrew J, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1815-1831, November.
    2. Andrew E. Clark & Ed Diener & Yannis Georgellis & Richard E. Lucas, 2008. "Lags And Leads in Life Satisfaction: a Test of the Baseline Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(529), pages 222-243, June.
    3. Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "Money and mental wellbeing: A longitudinal study of medium-sized lottery wins," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 49-60, January.
    4. Jonathan Gardner & Andrew J. Oswald, 2006. "Do divorcing couples become happier by breaking up?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 169(2), pages 319-336.
    5. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-484, July.
    6. Oswald, Andrew J. & Wu, Stephen, 2010. "Objective Confirmation of Subjective Measures of Human Well-being: Evidence from the USA," IZA Discussion Papers 4695, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Luis Angeles, 2009. "Do children make us happier?," Working Papers 2009_10, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    8. Blanchflower, David G., 2009. "Happiness and Health Care Coverage," IZA Discussion Papers 4450, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    pregnancy; life satisfaction; racial differences;

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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