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Family matters: involuntary parental unemployment during childhood and subjective well-being later in life

Author

Listed:
  • Nikolova, Milena
  • Nikolaev, Boris N.

Abstract

We are the first to examine how parental unemployment experienced during early-, mid- and late-childhood affects adult life satisfaction. Using German household panel data, we find that parental unemployment induced by plant closures and experienced during early (0-5 years) and late (11-15 years) childhood leads to lower life satisfaction at ages 18-31. Nevertheless, parental unemployment can also have a positive effect depending on the age and gender of the child. Our results are robust even after controlling for local unemployment, individual and family characteristics, parental job loss expectations, financial resources, and parents’ working time when growing up. These findings imply that the adverse effects associated with parental unemployment experienced at a young age tend to last well into young adulthood and are more nuanced than previously thought.

Suggested Citation

  • Nikolova, Milena & Nikolaev, Boris N., 2018. "Family matters: involuntary parental unemployment during childhood and subjective well-being later in life," GLO Discussion Paper Series 212, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:212
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/178633/1/GLO-DP-0212.pdf
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. How having unemployed parents affects children’s future well-being
      by Milena Nikolova, Boris Nikolaev in Up Front on 2018-07-13 21:35:38

    More about this item

    Keywords

    life satisfaction; parental unemployment; company closures; life-cycle analysis; German Socio-Economic Panel;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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