Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/77600
Authors: 
Baetschmann, Gregori
Staub, Kevin E.
Studer, Raphael
Year of Publication: 
2012
Series/Report no.: 
Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Zurich 94
Abstract: 
This paper examines the relationship between parenthood and life satisfaction using longitudinal data on women from the German Socio-Economic Panel. Previous studies have focused on satisfaction differences between parents and comparable childless adults, mostly finding small and often negative effects of parenthood. These comparisons of ex-post similar individuals are problematic if a self-selection into motherhood exists. In this study we examine the selection issue in detail by exploiting the extended longitudinal dimension of the panel to track self-reported life satisfaction of women eventually to become mothers and of women eventually attaining a completed fertility of zero. We document that these groups' satisfaction paths diverge around five years before mothers' first birth, even after adjusting for differences in observables. In our estimations, we employ matching and regression techniques which account for this selection into motherhood. We find motherhood to be associated with substantial positive satisfaction gains.
Subjects: 
happiness
subjective well-being
children
fertility
mother- hood
parenthood
life cycle
selection
matching
fixed effects
JEL: 
D10
J11
J12
J13
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

Files in This Item:
File
Size
508.45 kB





Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.