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Children's marriage and parental subjective well-being: Evidence from China

Dongjie Tao, Lingyun He, Jonathan Hamilton () and Ding Xu

China Economic Review, 2021, vol. 70, issue C

Abstract: The marriage of children is a milestone event in parenthood, while how parents' well-being evolves around the time children get married is limitedly understood. This paper examines the relationship between children's marriage and parents' subjective well-being. Using China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) data, we find that parental subjective well-being is positively associated with children's marriage. An examination of the underlying mechanisms shows that, first, children's marriage can significantly enhance parents' sense of security in old-age care and their confidence in the future. Second, the older the unmarried children are, the more anxious the parents who hold stronger traditional ideology will be. Third, parents will increase their consumption expenditure after their children get married; and compared with daughters, sons' marriages have a stronger effect on parental well-being. These findings reveal that parental economic pressure due to China's biased sex ratio and marriage squeeze is relieved after their children's marriage.

Keywords: Subjective well-being; Children's marriage; Parenthood; Life event (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:chieco:v:70:y:2021:i:c:s1043951x21001231

DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2021.101705

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China Economic Review is currently edited by B.M. Fleisher, K. X. D. Huang, M.E. Lovely, Y. Wen, X. Zhang and X. Zhu

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