IZA Discussion Papers
July 15, 2011
This paper tests whether there is a potential payoff to grandparenthood in terms of life satisfaction. Using the new nationwide survey for the UK, which consists of over 5,000 grandparents and 6,000 non-grandparents aged 40 and above, and a flexible multiple-index ordered probit model with varying thresholds, we find that being a grandparent to at least one grandchild is associated positively and statistically significantly with individuals reporting to be very satisfied with life overall. Parents with no grandchildren are no more satisfied with life compared to non-parents of the same age. The findings suggest that even though children may not contribute significantly to parents’ satisfaction with life overall, there may well be long-term benefits to having children, provided that our children go on and have children of their own.