Younger and Dissatisfied? Relative Age and Life-Satisfaction in Adolescence

45 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2018

See all articles by Luca Fumarco

Luca Fumarco

STATEC

Stijn Baert

Ghent University; University of Antwerp; Catholic University of Louvain (UCL); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract

This is the first study to investigate whether age gaps between classmates (that is, relative age) affect life-satisfaction gaps in adolescence. To this end, we analyse data from the multi-country Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) survey. We find evidence that relative age negatively impacts adolescents' life-satisfaction. A twelve-month age gap decreases life-satisfaction, rated on a 0-10 scale, by 0.3 points. This negative effect is consistent across countries. Finally, this negative effect does not decrease with the increase in absolute age.

Keywords: relative age, adolescents, education, Europe, life-satisfaction

JEL Classification: C26, I21, I31, Z13

Suggested Citation

Fumarco, Luca and Baert, Stijn, Younger and Dissatisfied? Relative Age and Life-Satisfaction in Adolescence. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11990. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3301752

Luca Fumarco (Contact Author)

STATEC

BP 304
Luxembourg City, L-2013
Luxembourg

Stijn Baert

Ghent University ( email )

University of Antwerp ( email )

Prinsstraat 13
Antwerp, Antwerp 2000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uantwerpen.be/nl/personeel/stijn-baert/

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) ( email )

Place Montesquieu, 3
Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uclouvain.be/en-309318.html

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

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

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/personnel/photos/index_html?key=6832

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