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Does parenthood increase happiness? Evidence for Poland

Anna Baranowska-Rataj () and Anna Matysiak ()

No 38, Working Papers from Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics

Abstract: In the recent decade demographers turned their attention to investigating the effects of children on self-rated happiness or life satisfaction. The underlying idea of this strand of research is to find out whether it pays off to individuals to become parents in terms of their subjective wellbeing, given the costs of having children. This paper follows this line of research and studies the impacts of childbearing on individual-level happiness in Poland; a country which experienced a rapid decline in fertility despite particularly strong attachment of young Poles to family values. To this end, we applied methods for panel data analysis which allowed us to control for endogeneity of subjective well-being and parenthood. Our results reveal a significantly positive effect of the first child on the subjective well-being of mothers. For men, this impact is weaker and most likely temporary since it weakens with an increase in child’s age. Importantly, neither for men nor for women does the positive impact of parenthood rise with an increase in parity. This may explain persistence of low fertility in this country.

Keywords: happiness; life satisfaction; fertility; childbearing; parenthood (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J13 J17 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 22 pages
Date: 2011
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-hap and nep-ltv
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (11) Track citations by RSS feed

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