Grandpa and the Snapper: The Wellbeing of the Elderly Who Live with Children

27 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2013

See all articles by Angus Deaton

Angus Deaton

Princeton University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Arthur Stone

State University of New York (SUNY), Stony Brook

Date Written: June 2013

Abstract

Elderly Americans who live with people under age 18 have lower life evaluations than those who do not. They also experience worse emotional outcomes, including less happiness and enjoyment, and more stress, worry, and anger. In part, these negative outcomes come from selection into living with a child, especially selection on poor health, which is associated with worse outcomes irrespective of living conditions. Yet even with controls, the elderly who live with children do worse. This is in sharp contrast to younger adults who live with children, likely their own, whose life evaluation is no different in the presence of the child once background conditions are controlled for. Parents, like elders, have enhanced negative emotions in the presence of a child, but unlike elders, also have enhanced positive emotions. In parts of the world where fertility rates are higher, the elderly do not appear to have lower life evaluations when they live with children; such living arrangements are more usual, and the selection into them is less negative. They also share with younger adults the enhanced positive and negative emotions that come with children. The misery of the elderly living with children is one of the prices of the demographic transition.

Suggested Citation

Deaton, Angus S. and Stone, Arthur, Grandpa and the Snapper: The Wellbeing of the Elderly Who Live with Children (June 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w19100. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2276364

Angus S. Deaton (Contact Author)

Princeton University ( email )

Woodrow Wilson School
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States
609-258-5967 (Phone)
609-258-5974 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wws.princeton.edu/~deaton

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Arthur Stone

State University of New York (SUNY), Stony Brook ( email )

Health Science Center
Stony Brook, NY 11794
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
98
rank
258,157
Abstract Views
937
PlumX Metrics