Effects of income and material deprivation on children’s life satisfaction: evidence from longitudinal data for England (2009-2018)

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

October 5, 2021


A plethora of research shows that income is an important factor in adult’s life satisfaction, but research ascertaining its importance for children’s life satisfaction is scant. Using a largescale nationally representative longitudinal survey with children aged 10–15, we estimate comprehensive life satisfaction models that account for heterogeneity in exogenous circumstances in children’s lives, focussing on family income and material deprivation. We find empirical support for the hypothesis that children are more satisfied with their lives, the more income their family has and the less material deprivation they experience throughout their teens. There are, however, differences across age groups with children aged 12–15 experiencing greater life satisfaction losses on account of lower family material wellbeing than younger children. Overall, income effects for older children are small but statistically significant when accounting for unobserved individual differences.

Published in

Journal of Happiness Studies







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