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The contribution of increases in family benefits to Australia’s early 21st-century fertility increase: An empirical analysis

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Author Info

  • Nick Parr

    (Macquarie University)

  • Ross Guest

    (Griffith University)

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    Abstract

    Between 2001 and 2008 Australia’s total fertility increased from 1.73 to 1.96. This period also saw changes to family benefits, most notably the introduction of a universal, flat-rate at birth payment and an increased subsidisation of child care. This paper analyses individual-level fertility, using data from a large-scale longitudinal survey and focusing on the effects of changes to family benefits, macroeconomic variables, entitlements to family-friendly working conditions, and socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. It finds the effects of the ‘Baby Bonus’ and the Child Care Rebate are slight. The effects of education, income, occupation, marital status, age and parity are significant.

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    File URL: http://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol25/6/25-6.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its journal Demographic Research.

    Volume (Year): 25 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 6 (July)
    Pages: 215-244

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    Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:25:y:2011:i:6

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    Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

    Related research

    Keywords: Australia; economic conditions; education; family allowances; family benefits; family policy; family size; fertility; maternal age; maternity benefits; pronatalist policy;

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    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Lyn Craig, 2007. "How Employed Mothers in Australia Find Time for Both Market Work and Childcare," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 69-87, March.
    2. Mark Wooden & Nicole Watson, 2007. "The HILDA Survey and its Contribution to Economic and Social Research (So Far)," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(261), pages 208-231, 06.
    3. Tomáš Sobotka & Vegard Skirbekk & Dimiter Philipov, 2011. "Economic Recession and Fertility in the Developed World," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 37(2), pages 267-306, 06.
    4. Mark Wooden & Simon Freidin & Nicole Watson, 2002. "The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA)Survey: Wave 1," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(3), pages 339-348.
    5. Nick Parr, 2010. "Satisfaction with life as an antecedent of fertility," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 22(21), pages 635-662, April.
    6. John Ermisch, 1988. "Econometric Analysis of Birth Rate Dynamics in Britain," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 563-576.
    7. Creina Day & Steve Dowrick, 2010. "What entices the Stork? Fertility, Education and Family Payments," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2010-516, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    8. Kevin Milligan, 2002. "Subsidizing the Stork: New Evidence on Tax Incentives and Fertility," NBER Working Papers 8845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Jones, Larry & Schoonbroodt, Alice, 2007. "Baby busts and baby booms: the response of fertility to shocks in dynastic models," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0706, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    10. Hans-Peter Kohler & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "Tempo-Adjusted Period Parity Progression Measures:," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 6(7), pages 145-190, March.
    11. Ross Guest & Nick Parr, 2010. "The Effects of Family Benefits on Childbearing Decisions: A Household Optimising Approach Applied to Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 86(275), pages 609-619, December.
    12. Alice Schoonbroodt & Larry E. Jones, 2010. "Baby Busts and Baby Booms: The Fertility Response to Shocks in Dynastic Models," 2010 Meeting Papers 144, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Trevor Breusch & Edith Gray, 2004. "New Estimates of Mothers’ Forgone Earnings Using HILDA Data," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 7(2), pages 125-150, June.
    14. Gunnar Andersson & Michaela Kreyenfeld & Tatjana Mika, 2009. "Welfare state context, female earnings and childbearing," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-026, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    15. Robert Drago & Katina Sawyer & Karina Sheffler & Diana Warren & Mark Wooden, 2009. "Did Australia's Baby Bonus Increase the Fertility Rate?," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2009n01, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    16. Peter Mcdonald, 2006. "Low Fertility and the State: The Efficacy of Policy," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 32(3), pages 485-510.
    17. Deniz D. Karaman Örsal & Joshua R. Goldstein, 2010. "The increasing importance of economic conditions on fertility," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2010-014, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    18. Tomas Sobotka, 2008. "Overview Chapter 7: The rising importance of migrants for childbearing in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(9), pages 225-248, July.
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    Cited by:
    1. Gordon Carmichael, 2014. "Non-marital pregnancy and the second demographic transition in Australia in historical perspective," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(21), pages 609-640, March.
    2. Sinclair, Sarah & Boymal, Jonathan & de Silva, Ashton J, 2012. "Is the fertility response to the Australian baby bonus heterogeneous across maternal age? Evidence from Victoria," MPRA Paper 42725, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Ross Guest & Nick Parr, 2013. "Family policy and couples’ labour supply: an empirical assessment," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 1631-1660, October.

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