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Who takes care of the children? The quantity-quality model revisited

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  • Henry Ohlsson

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Göteborg University, Box 640, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden)

  • Michael Lundholm

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden)

Abstract

We study the Becker and Lewis (1973) quantity-quality model of children adding an explicit child care time constraint for parents. Parents can take care of the children themselves or purchase day care. Our results are: (i) If there only is own care, a quantity-quality trade-off, different from that of Becker and Lewis (1973), arises. The income effect on fertility is positive if child quantity is a closer complement than child quality to the consumption of goods. (ii) If, instead, there is a combination of purchased and own care, the effect of income on fertility is ambiguous, even if quantity of children is a normal good in the standard sense. This is the Becker and Lewis (1973) result extended to a situation with a binding child care time constraint. The conclusion is that the Becker and Lewis (1973) result holds as long as at least some child care is purchased.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 455-461

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:15:y:2002:i:3:p:455-461

Note: Received: 12 November 1999/Accepted: 1 September 2000
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Keywords: Fertility · child care · quantity-quality trade-off;

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References

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  1. Nerlove, Marc & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1984. "Income distribution policies with endogenous fertility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 221-230, July.
  2. Cigno, Alessandro, 1983. "On Optimal Family Allowances," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(1), pages 13-22, March.
  3. Henry Ohlsson & Michael Lundholm, 1998. "Wages, taxes and publicly provided day care," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 185-204.
  4. Connelly, Rachel, 1992. "The Effect of Child Care Costs on Married Women's Labor Force Participation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 83-90, February.
  5. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 1995. "Population Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262181606, December.
  6. Cigno, Alessandro, 1986. "Fertility and the Tax-Benefit System: A Reconsideration of the Theory of Family Taxation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1035-51, December.
  7. Ermisch, John F, 1989. "Purchased Child Care, Optimal Family Size and Mother's Employment: Theory and Econometric Analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 79-102.
  8. Gary S. Becker, 1960. "An Economic Analysis of Fertility," NBER Chapters, in: Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries, pages 209-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Samuelson, Paul A, 1974. "Complementarity-An Essay on the 40th Anniversary of the Hicks-Allen Revolution in Demand Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 1255-89, December.
  10. Ermisch, John F, 1988. "Purchased Child Care, Optimal Family Size and Mother's Employment," CEPR Discussion Papers 238, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Nerlove, Marc & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1986. "Some Welfare Theoretic Implications of Endogenous Fertility," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 3-31, February.
  12. Joseph Hotz, V. & Klerman, Jacob Alex & Willis, Robert J., 1993. "The economics of fertility in developed countries," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 275-347 Elsevier.
  13. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
  14. Batina, Raymond G., 1986. "The optimal linear income tax with tax credits contingent on fertility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 219-235, July.
  15. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1976. "Child Endowments, and the Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Working Papers 0123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. David M. Blau & Alison P. Hagy, 1998. "The Demand for Quality in Child Care," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 104-146, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Schrage, Andrea, 2007. "Low Fertility of Highly Educated Women: The Impact of Child Care Infrastructure," University of Regensburg Working Papers in Business, Economics and Management Information Systems 421, University of Regensburg, Department of Economics.
  2. Junichi Minagawa & Thorsten Upmann, 2006. "Labor Supply and the Demand for Child Care: An Intertemporal Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 1819, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Rafael Barrera Gutiérrez, 2011. "El vacío institucional en el modelo de elección racional aplicado a la fecundidad," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 13(25), pages 223-248, July-Dece.
  4. Anu Rammohan & Stephen Whelan, 2006. "Child Care Costs and the Employment Status of Married Australian Mothers," CEPR Discussion Papers 517, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  5. Wolter, Stefan C., 2003. "Sibling Rivalry: A Six Country Comparison," IZA Discussion Papers 734, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Åslund, Olof & Grönqvist, Hans, 2007. "Family size and child outcomes: Is there really no trade-off?," Working Paper Series 2007:15, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  7. Wolter, Stefan C. & Coradi Vellacott, Maja, 2002. "Sibling Rivalry: A Look at Switzerland with PISA Data," IZA Discussion Papers 594, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. María Suárez, 2013. "Working mothers’ decisions on childcare: the case of Spain," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 545-561, December.

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