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Why Pay Child Benefits to Mothers?

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  • Frances Woolley

Abstract

The "feminist" case for paying benefits to mothers is that women suffer if they have no independent access to economic resources. The "maternalist" case for targeting benefits rests on the idea that money paid to mothers is more likely to be spent in ways that benefit children. This paper evaluates both the feminist and the maternalist case using data on how households manage their finances. The paper argues that the feminist case is relevant in a minority of households; the maternalist case has most weight when the aim of child benefits is to meet children's basic needs, for example, for food and clothing.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 30 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 47-69

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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:30:y:2004:i:1:p:47-69

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  1. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
  2. Phipps, S.A. & Burton, P.S., 1992. "What's Mine is Yours?: The Influence of Male and Female Incomes on Patterns of Household Expenditure," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive, Dalhousie, Department of Economics 92-12, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
  3. Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington, Department of Economics at the University of Washington 91-08, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  4. Zhiqi Chen & Frances Woolley, 1999. "A Cournot-Nash Model of Family Decision Making," Carleton Economic Papers, Carleton University, Department of Economics 99-13, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2001.
  5. Lundberg, S.J. & Pollak, R.A. & Wales, T.J., 1994. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from U.K. Child Benefit," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington, Department of Economics at the University of Washington 94-6, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  6. Cathal O’Donoghue & Holly Sutherland, 1998. "Accounting for the Family: The treatment of marriage and children in European income tax systems," Innocenti Occasional Papers, Economic Policy Series, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre iopeps98/25, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.
  7. Martin Dooley & Ellen Lipman & Jennifer Stewart, 2005. "Exploring the Good Mother Hypothesis: Do Child Outcomes Vary with the Mother's Share of Income?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, University of Toronto Press, vol. 31(2), pages 123-144, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Matthias Doepke & Michèle Tertilt, 2014. "Does Female Empowerment Promote Economic Development," CESifo Working Paper Series 4661, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Phipps, Shelley & Woolley, Frances, 2008. "Control over money and the savings decisions of Canadian households," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 592-611, April.
  3. McLeish, Kendra N. & Oxoby, Robert J., 2007. "Gender, Affect and Intertemporal Consistency: An Experimental Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 2663, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Martin Dooley & Ellen Lipman & Jennifer Stewart, 2005. "Exploring the Good Mother Hypothesis: Do Child Outcomes Vary with the Mother's Share of Income?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, University of Toronto Press, vol. 31(2), pages 123-144, June.

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