Parental Unemployment, Social Insurance and Child Well-Being Across Countries

59 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2020 Last revised: 22 Nov 2022

See all articles by Kerstin Hansen

Kerstin Hansen

University of Basel

Alois Stutzer

University of Basel; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

Based on a unique repeated cross-sectional data set of school-aged children in Europe, the Middle East and North America, we analyze how children's subjective well-being is related to parents' employment status, depending on the institutional context. We find that parental unemployment is strongly negatively related to children's life satisfaction across countries and years. The effect is thereby moderated by the generosity of unemployment benefits. Exploiting across- and within-country variation, our results suggest that a higher benefit replacement rate alleviates the negative effects of fathers', but not mothers', unemployment. We further test the robustness of our results considering unemployment benefits jointly with social work norms. While the buffering effect of unemployment insurance remains, the spillover effects of paternal unemployment seem to be more pronounced in environments with stricter social work norms.

Keywords: parental unemployment, children, child well-being, subjective well-being, unemployment, unemployment insurance, social work norms

JEL Classification: D1, I3, J6

Suggested Citation

Hansen, Kerstin and Stutzer, Alois, Parental Unemployment, Social Insurance and Child Well-Being Across Countries. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13752, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3704135

Kerstin Hansen (Contact Author)

University of Basel

Alois Stutzer

University of Basel ( email )

Faculty of Business and Economics
Peter Merian-Weg 6
4002 Basel
Switzerland
0041 61 207 3361 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wwz.unibas.ch/en/stutzer/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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