Journal article

THE stress cost of children on moms and dads

Hielke Buddelmeyer, Daniel S Hamermesh, Mark Wooden

European Economic Review | ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV | Published : 2018


We use longitudinal data describing couples in Australia from 2001 to 12 and Germany from 2002 to 12 to examine how demographic events affect mothers’ and fathers’ perceived time and financial stress. Consistent with the view of measures of stress as proxies for Lagrangean multipliers in models of household production, we show that births increase time stress, especially among mothers, and that the effects last at least several years. Births also slightly raise both parents’ financial stress. While the departure of a child from the home reduces parents’ time stress, its negative impacts on the tightness of the time constraints are much smaller than the positive impacts of a birth.


Funding Acknowledgements

This study uses unit record data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey and German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). The HILDA Survey project was initiated and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and is managed by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research (at the University of Melbourne). The German data used in this publication are from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) and were made available to us by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Berlin.