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Eastern Economic Journal

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 621–648 | Cite as

Maternal Life Satisfaction, Marital Status, and Child Skill Formation

  • Dimitrios NikolaouEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

I examine if the documented positive relationship between marriage and child outcomes represents a maternal life satisfaction effect. By treating life satisfaction and marital status as endogenous in the skill production process, I show that there is a distinct happiness and a distinct marriage effect; marriage increases cognitive skills and decreases conduct problems, while maternal happiness increases social and self-regulation skills to an equivalent of up to £ 38,000 per year. Thus, promoting healthy and happy marriages can be more effective than policies that promote marriage, and life satisfaction is an avenue through which non-married mothers can produce high quality children.

Keywords

life satisfaction marriage child development (non)cognitive skills item response theory 

Keywords

J12 J13 C33 

Notes

Supplementary material

41302_2016_60_MOESM1_ESM.doc (281 kb)
supplemental data appendix

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Copyright information

© EEA 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Illinois State University, Department of EconomicsNormalUSA

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