Happy People Have Children: Choice and Self-Selection into Parenthood.


There is mixed evidence in the existing literature on whether children are associated with greater subjective well-being, with the correlation depending on which countries and populations are considered. We here provide a systematic analysis of this question based on three different datasets: two cross-national and one national panel. We show that the association between children and subjective well-being is positive only in developed countries, and for those who become parents after the age of 30 and who have higher income. We also provide evidence of a positive selection into parenthood, whereby happier individuals are more likely to have children.

DOI: 10.1007/s10680-016-9389-x

Cite this paper

@article{Cetre2016HappyPH, title={Happy People Have Children: Choice and Self-Selection into Parenthood.}, author={Sophie Cetre and Andrew E. Clark and Claudia S{\'e}nik}, journal={European journal of population = Revue europeenne de demographie}, year={2016}, volume={32 3}, pages={445-473} }