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

22 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2010  

Eugenio Proto

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Daniel Sgroi

University of Warwick - Department of Economics

Andrew J. Oswald

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Keywords: labor productivity, divorce, well-being, happiness, experimental economics

JEL Classification: D03, J24, C91

Suggested Citation

Proto, Eugenio and Sgroi, Daniel and Oswald, Andrew J., Are Happiness and Productivity Lower Among University Students with Newly-Divorced Parents? An Experimental Approach. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4755. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1552689

Eugenio Proto (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Daniel Sgroi

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Andrew J. Oswald

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
523510 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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