The Stress Cost of Children

41 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2015

See all articles by Hielke Buddelmeyer

Hielke Buddelmeyer

Melbourne Institute; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Daniel S. Hamermesh

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Mark Wooden

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2015

Abstract

We use longitudinal data describing couples in Australia from 2001-12 and Germany from 2002-12 to examine how demographic events affect perceived time and financial stress. Consistent with the view of measures of stress as proxies for the Lagrangean multipliers in models of household production, we show that births increase time stress, especially among mothers, and that the effects last at least several years. Births generally also raise financial stress slightly. The monetary equivalent of the costs of the extra time stress is very large. While the departure of a child from the home reduces parents’ time stress, its negative impacts on the tightness of the time constraints are much smaller than the positive impacts of a birth.

Suggested Citation

Buddelmeyer, Hielke and Hamermesh, Daniel S. and Wooden, Mark, The Stress Cost of Children (May 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21223. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2612778

Hielke Buddelmeyer (Contact Author)

Melbourne Institute ( email )

161 Barry Street
Level 7
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia
+61383442091 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Daniel S. Hamermesh

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States
512-475-8526 (Phone)
512-471-3510 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Mark Wooden

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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