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

32 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2016

See all articles by Sophie Cetre

Sophie Cetre

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Andrew Clark

Paris School of Economics (PSE); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Claudia Senik

National Center for Scientific Research - Department and Laboratory of Applied and Theoretical Economics (DELTA); Universite Paris IV Sorbonne; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

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

JEL Classification: D1, J13

Suggested Citation

Cetre, Sophie and Clark, Andrew Eric and Senik, Claudia, Happy People Have Children: Choice and Self-Selection into Parenthood. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9880. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2769188

Sophie Cetre (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Andrew Eric Clark

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Claudia Senik

National Center for Scientific Research - Department and Laboratory of Applied and Theoretical Economics (DELTA) ( email )

ENS, 48, bd Jourdan
75014 Paris
France
+33 1 4313 6312 (Phone)

Universite Paris IV Sorbonne

Department of Economics
75230 Paris Cedex 05
France
01 43 13 63 12 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
45
Abstract Views
191
PlumX Metrics