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Does Fertility Respond to Financial Incentives?

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  • Laroque, Guy
  • Salanié, Bernard

Abstract

There has been little empirical work evaluating the sensitivity of fertility to financial incentives at the household level. We put forward an identification strategy that relies on the fact that variation of wages induces variation in benefits and tax credits among 'comparable' households. We implement this approach by estimating a discrete choice model of female participation and fertility, using individual data from the French Labor Force Survey and a fairly detailed representation of the French tax-benefit system. Our results suggest that financial incentives play a notable role in determining fertility decisions in France, both for the first and for the third child. As an example, an unconditional child benefit with a direct cost of 0:3% of GDP might raise total fertility by about 0:3 point.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5007.

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Date of creation: Apr 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5007

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Keywords: benefits; fertility; incentives; population;

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References

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  1. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2006. "Exploring the Usefulness of a Non-Random Holdout Sample for Model Validation: Welfare Effects on Female Behavior," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-006, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Kevin Milligan, 2002. "Subsidizing the Stork: New Evidence on Tax Incentives and Fertility," NBER Working Papers 8845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 2000. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(467), pages F672-94, November.
  4. Daniela Del Boca, 2002. "The effect of child care and part time opportunities on participation and fertility decisions in Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 549-573.
  5. Melissa Schettini Kearney, 2004. "Is There an Effect of Incremental Welfare Benefits on Fertility Behavior?: A Look at the Family Cap," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  6. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Costas Meghir, 1995. "Estimating labour supply responses using tax reforms," IFS Working Papers W95/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Liliane Brouillette & Claude Felteau & Pierre Lefebvre, 1993. "Les effets des impôts et des allocations familiales sur les comportements de fécondité et de travail des Canadiennes: résultats d'un modèle de choix discrets," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 10, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  8. Hidehiko Ichimura & Christopher Taber, 2002. "Semiparametric Reduced-Form Estimation of Tuition Subsidies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 286-292, May.
  9. 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.
  10. Alma Cohen & Rajeev Dehejia & Dmitri Romanov, 2007. "Do Financial Incentives Affect Fertility?," NBER Working Papers 13700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Patricia Apps & Ray Rees, 2010. "Fertility, Female Labor Supply and Public Policy," Working Papers id:2754, eSocialSciences.
  12. Heckman, James J & Walker, James R, 1990. "The Relationship between Wages and Income and the Timing and Spacing of Births: Evidence from Swedish Longitudinal Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1411-41, November.
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  1. Flight's right
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2010-11-25 17:39:08
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