Parenthood and Life Satisfaction: The Role of Welfare Regimes

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Pachara Pimpawatin
Nopphol Witvorapong


This study investigates the complex relationship between parenthood and life satisfaction using integrated (individual-level) data from the European Value Surveys (EVS) and the World Value Surveys (WVS), covering respondents from 102 countries from 1989 to 2020. It hypothesizes that welfare regimes influence the relationship, categorizing countries into eight welfare regimes, including social democratic, conservative, liberal, former socialist, productivist, liberal-informal, Middle East and North Africa, and insecure welfare regimes. Results suggest that, overall, parenthood is positively associated with life satisfaction. The positive relationship is more evident in countries with social democratic, productivist, and insecure welfare regimes than the others. Age and gender sub-sample analyses reveal that the association between parenthood and life satisfaction among women is more sensitive to welfare regimes than men. This study is the first to use the above welfare-regime categorization. It demonstrates that welfare policies are essential to life satisfaction and argues that they should be tailored to specific area-based needs of the target population.


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Pachara Pimpawatin, Faculty of Economics, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

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