Children and Life Satisfaction
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We investigate the relationship between having children at home and life satisfaction. Contrary to much of the literature, our results are consistent with an effect of children on life satisfaction that is positive, large and increasing in the number of children. The effect, however, is contingent on the individual’s characteristics. In particular, our findings are consistent with children making married people better off, while most unmarried individuals appear to be worse off with children. We also analyze the role of factors such as gender, age, income and education.
KeywordsLife satisfaction Happiness Children Marital status British household panel survey (BHPS)
I thank Robert A. Cummins and four anonymous referees for helpful comments and suggestions. All remaining errors are of course mine. The paper is dedicated to L. S. Angeles.
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