15 April 2019

Poster Award for Sonja Spitzer

IIASA researcher Sonja Spitzer and colleagues received the poster winner at the Population Association of America Annual Meeting 2019.

© Sonja Spitzer

© Sonja Spitzer

For her poster entitled "The Subjective Cost of Young Children: A European Comparison", World Population researcher Sonja Spitzer received the best poster award at the  Population Association of America Annual Meeting 2019. The PAA is one of the biggest conferences dedicated to demographic research. In 2019 the conference is taking place between 10-13 April in Austin, USA. The work was co-autored by Angela Greulich from the Université de Paris, and Bernhard Hammer from the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Sonja Spitzer is a predoctoral researcher at IIASA. She is a population economist working on health, ageing, and economic wellbeing over the life course. She tackles questions related to healthy ageing as well as the economic impact of life events on households, examples are retirement or the birth of a child. She is particularly interested in issues related to survey data, for example, weighting adjustments or the evaluation of self-reported measures with objective information. For her research, she applies econometric as well as demographic methods.


The Subjective Cost of Young Children: A European Comparison

Understanding child-related costs is crucial given their impact on fertility and labour supply decisions. We quantify and compare the cost of children in Europe by analysing the effect of child births on parents’ self-reported ability to make ends meet. This study is based on EUSILC longitudinal data for 30 European countries from 2004 to 2015, enabling comparisons between country groups of different welfare regimes. Results show that newborns decrease subjective economic wellbeing in all regions, yet with economies of scale in the number of children. The drop is mainly caused by increased expenses due to the birth of a child (direct costs), which are largest in high-income regions. Immediate labour income losses of mothers (indirect costs) are less important in explaining the decrease. These income losses are closely related to the employment patterns of mothers and are highest in regions where women take extensive parental leave. In the first years after the birth, indirect costs are mostly compensated for via public transfers or increased labour income of fathers, while direct costs of children are not compensated for.

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Last edited: 16 April 2019


The Subjective Cost of Young Children: A European Comparison


IIASA at the PAA Annual Meeting 2019

10 Apr 2019 - 13 Apr 2019


International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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