The Financial Burden of Having Children and Fertility Differentials Across Development and Life Stages: Evidence from Satisfaction Data
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Comparing the financial burden of having children across countries accompanies various types of measurement issues. The present study employs financial satisfaction to overcome the measurement issues and examines how the financial burden of having children differs across development stages. The challenge in this approach lies in detecting the impact of having children on financial satisfaction. To address this challenge, we focus our attention on the peculiar movement of satisfaction in the financial domain of life, which is measured by standardizing financial satisfaction by overall life satisfaction, and perform regression analyses using World and European Integrated Values Survey. The results show that the negative impact of having an additional child on satisfaction becomes particularly greater in the financial domain as income increases and total fertility rate (TFR) decreases. The results also indicate that having children offers a sense of financial security to the elderly in high TFR countries while this is not the case in lower TFR countries. These results support the general idea that the heavier financial burden of having children is a major cause of fertility decline and provide policy implications to find a way out of extremely low fertility.
KeywordsFinancial burden of children Financial satisfaction Life satisfaction Fertility differentials
We wish to thank Joshua Goldstein, Carl Mason, Movshuk Oleksandr, and anonymous referees for their helpful comments. Any remaining errors are our own. This study is supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from JPSS in Japan (No. 263880243, 24730221). Part of this research was conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, at the University of Philippine, Diliman, and at Mage Nishikoku.
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