Childbearing and well-being: a comparative analysis of the European Community

Arnstein Aassve, University of Essex
Stefano Mazzuco, Università di Padova

Using a sample of women drawn from the ECHP Survey, we make a comparison of the impact of childbearing on wellbeing using a welfare regime classification. Since poverty status is a poor proxy for wellbeing, we derive several measures - deprivation indices - avoiding the poor/non-poor dichotomy. We provide descriptive statistics of poverty status and deprivations indices, as well as an analysis of a more causal nature (a Difference-in-Differences estimator combined with Propensity Score Matching techniques - DD-PSM). In all welfare regimes, independent of how wellbeing is defined, childbearing events never have a positive impact on individuals’ wellbeing. But our estimates are largely consistent with welfare regime theory: women in the Social Democratic welfare states suffer the least as a result of childbearing, where as women in Conservative and Mediterranean states suffer significantly more. For the Liberal one the results are more mixed, and depends on the definition of wellbeing.

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Presented in Session 157: Consequences of family policies