Born on the first of July: An (un)natural experiment in birth timing
AbstractIt is well understood that government policies can distort behavior. But what is less often recognized is that the anticipated introduction of a policy can introduce its own distortions. We study one such "introduction effect," using evidence from a unique policy change in Australia. In 2004, the Australian government announced that children born on or after July 1, 2004 would receive a $3000 "Baby Bonus." Although the policy was only announced seven weeks before its introduction, parents appear to have behaved strategically in order to receive the benefit, with the number of births dipping sharply before the policy commenced. On July 1, 2004, more Australian children were born than on any other single date in the past thirty years. We estimate that over 1000 births were "moved" so as to ensure that their parents were eligible for the Baby Bonus, with about one quarter being moved by more than one week. Most of the effect was due to changes in the timing of induction and cesarean section procedures. We find evidence to suggest that babies who were shifted into the eligibility period were more likely to be of high birth weight. Two years later, on July 1, 2006, the Baby Bonus was increased, and we find that this again caused births to be moved from June to July. These birth timing events represent an opportunity for health researchers to study the impact of planned birthdays and hospital management issues.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.
Volume (Year): 93 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (February)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578
Introduction effect Timing of births Policy distortion;
Other versions of this item:
- Joshua S. Gans & Andrew Leigh, 2006. "Born on the First of July: An (Un)natural Experiment in Birth Timing," CEPR Discussion Papers 529, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
- H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
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.:
- Wojciech Kopczuk & Joel Slemrod, 2003.
"Dying to Save Taxes: Evidence from Estate-Tax Returns on the Death Elasticity,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 256-265, May.
- Wojciech Kopczuk & Joel Slemrod, 2001. "Dying to Save Taxes: Evidence from Estate Tax Returns on the Death Elasticity," NBER Working Papers 8158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kevin Milligan, 2005.
"Subsidizing the Stork: New Evidence on Tax Incentives and Fertility,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 539-555, August.
- Kevin Milligan, 2002. "Subsidizing the Stork: New Evidence on Tax Incentives and Fertility," NBER Working Papers 8845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gans, Joshua S. & Leigh, Andrew, 2011.
"Bargaining Over Labor: Do Patients Have Any Power?,"
IZA Discussion Papers
6165, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Joshua S. Gans & Andrew Leigh, 2012. "Bargaining Over Labour: Do Patients Have Any Power?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 88(281), pages 182-194, 06.
- Joshua S. Gans & Andrew Leigh, 2006. "Bargaining Over Labor: Do Patients have any Power?," CEPR Discussion Papers 528, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
- Joshua S. Gans & Andrew Leigh & Elena Varganova, 2007.
"Minding the Shop: The Case of Obstetrics Conferences,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
551, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
- Gans, Joshua S. & Leigh, Andrew & Varganova, Elena, 2007. "Minding the shop: The case of obstetrics conferences," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(7), pages 1458-1465, October.
- Amy Finkelstein, 2007. "E-ZTax: Tax Salience and Tax Rates," NBER Working Papers 12924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gans Joshua S & Leigh Andrew, 2006.
"Did the Death of Australian Inheritance Taxes Affect Deaths?,"
The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy,
De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-9, November.
- Joshua S. Gans & Andrew Leigh, 2006. "Did the Death of Australian Inheritance Taxes Affect Deaths?," CEPR Discussion Papers 530, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
- Eliason, Marcus & Ohlsson, Henry, 2008.
"Living to save taxes,"
Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 340-343, September.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.