Happy People Have Children: Choice and Self-Selection into Parenthood

By: Sophie Cetre ; Andrew E. Clark ; Claudia Senik
There is mixed evidence in the existing literature on whether children are associated with greater subjective well-being, with the correlation depending on which countries and populations are considered. We here provide a systematic analysis of this question based on three different datasets: two cross-national and one national panel. We show that the association between children and subjective well-being is positive only in developed countries, and for those who become parents after the age of 30 and who have higher income. We also provide evidence of a positive selection into parenthood, whereby happier individuals are more likely to have children.
Keywords: Happiness; fertility; children; income; selection
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cpm:docweb:1604&r=ltv
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