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Do Child Tax Benefits Affect the Well-Being of Children? Evidence from Canadian Child Benefit Expansions

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Author Info

  • Kevin Milligan
  • Mark Stabile

Abstract

We exploit changes in child benefits in Canada to study the impact of family income on child and family well-being. Using variation in child benefits across province, time, and family type, we study outcomes spanning test scores, mental health, physical health, and deprivation measures. The findings suggest that child benefit programs had significant positive effects on test scores, maternal health, and mental health, among other measures. We find strong and interesting differences in the effects of benefits by child sex: benefits have stronger effects on educational outcomes and physical health for boys, and on mental health outcomes for girls. (JEL I12, I31, I38, J13)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/pol.3.3.175
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/pol/data/2008-0178_data.zip
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 175-205

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:3:y:2011:i:3:p:175-205

Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.3.3.175
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References

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  1. Philip Oreopolous & Marianne Page & Ann Huff Stevens, 2005. "The Intergenerational Effects Of Worker Displacement," Working Papers id:183, eSocialSciences.
  2. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile & Phongsack Manivong & Leslie L. Roos, 2008. "Child Health and Young Adult Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 14482, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2006. "Universal Childcare, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Working Papers id:547, eSocialSciences.
  4. Angrist, Joshua & Lang, Daniel W. & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2007. "Incentives and Services for College Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 3134, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. David M. Blau, 1999. "The Effect Of Income On Child Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 261-276, May.
  6. Currie, Janet & Stabile, Mark, 2006. "Child mental health and human capital accumulation: The case of ADHD," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1094-1118, November.
  7. Joshua Angrist & Daniel Lang & Philip Oreopoulos, 2006. "Lead Them to Water and Pay Them to Drink: An Experiment with Services and Incentives for College Achievement," NBER Working Papers 12790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Currie, Janet & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Health Insurance Eligibility, Utilization of Medical Care, and Child Health," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 431-66, May.
  9. Martin Dooley & Jennifer Stewart, 2004. "Family income and child outcomes in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(4), pages 898-917, November.
  10. Kevin Milligan, 2002. "Subsidizing the Stork: New Evidence on Tax Incentives and Fertility," NBER Working Papers 8845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
  12. Susan Dynarski, 2008. "Building the Stock of College-Educated Labor," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(3), pages 576-610.
  13. Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2007. "Childhood Disadvantage and Obesity: Is Nurture Trumping Nature?," NBER Working Papers 13479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
  15. Michael Anderson, 2005. "Uncovering Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," HEW 0509008, EconWPA, revised 26 Sep 2005.
  16. Milligan, Kevin & Stabile, Mark, 2007. "The integration of child tax credits and welfare: Evidence from the Canadian National Child Benefit program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 305-326, February.
  17. Gordon B. Dahl & Lance Lochner, 2005. "The Impact of Family Income on Child Achievement," NBER Working Papers 11279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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