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The development and happiness of very young children

Anand, Paul and Roope, Laurence (2016) The development and happiness of very young children. Social Choice and Welfare, 47 (4). pp. 825-851. ISSN 0176-1714

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s00355-016-0993-9

Abstract

The paper demonstrates how Sen’s (Commodities and capabilities. Amsterdam, North-Holland, 1985) alternative approach to welfare economics can be used to shed light on the wellbeing of very young children. More specifically, we estimate versions of the three key relations from his framework using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) Survey. Our primary models provide evidence that skills are related to involvement in cognate activities with a parent, indicating a behavioural relationship between capabilities and activities which is not explicit in Sen’s original set-up, but is key to the development and happiness of young children. A second set of models indicates that the daily activities of very young children are related to household income but that in some cases the association with parenting inputs is stronger. Thirdly, we report happiness regressions for the children which seem to suggest that shopping and reading are valued but that their distribution is limited in some cases—probably either by household income or parental education. Across the piece, we find that the number of siblings is negatively related to activity involvement with parents, as hypothesised by Becker, but positively related to everyday, motor and social skills. Combined with evidence from other studies, we conclude that the capability approach provides a useful framework for understanding the economics of wellbeing across the entire life course.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://link.springer.com/journal/355
Additional Information: © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS)
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2016 11:04
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2017 16:10
Funders: Leverhulme Trust
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/68047

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