Life satisfaction of older Europeans: the role of grandchildren

Bruno Arpino, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Nicoletta Balbo, Università Bocconi
Valeria Bordone, University of Southampton

This paper aims to investigate whether the arrival and the presence of grandchildren increases the level of life satisfaction of older people. Existing studies focus on how having children may impact parents’ life satisfaction around the birth of a child. We aim to extend this literature by looking at the long-run indirect effects of fertility through grandparenthood. By using the SHARE dataset and engaging in a series of fixed-effects and logistic regressions, we study whether the birth of the first or further grandchildren can increase a grandparent’s life satisfaction. By doing so, we can assess whether the presence of grandchildren may reduce the risk of the often found in previous literature decrease in life satisfaction for older people. Preliminary results show a positive association between having grandchildren and a grandparent’s increased life satisfaction, especially for grandmothers.

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Presented in Session 53: Grandparenting