Happiness and Childbearing Across Europe
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Using happiness as a well-being measure and comparative data from the European social survey we focus in this paper on the link between happiness and childbearing across European countries. The analysis motivates from the recent lows in fertility in many European countries and that economic wellbeing measures are problematic when considering childbearing. We find significant country differences, though the direct association between happiness and childbearing is modest. However, partnership status plays an important role for both men and women. Working fathers are always happier, whereas working mothers are not, though mothers’ happiness tends to increase with household income.
KeywordsHappiness Childbearing Comparative European social survey
We are grateful to Andrew Oswald, Andrew Clark, Cristina Ruggeri and Jane Klobas for very useful comments to this analysis. Financial support from the ERC, Starting Grant No. Stg 201194 (Consequences of Demographic Change), is gratefully acknowledged.
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