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The Effects of Family Benefits on Childbearing Decisions: A Household Optimising Approach Applied to Australia

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  • ROSS GUEST
  • NICK PARR

Abstract

This article analyses the effect of family benefits on childbearing decisions using an intertemporal utility maximising framework. The childbirth decisions of households are planned jointly with decisions about lifecycle consumption. The model is calibrated using data for Australia drawn, where possible, from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Wave 7 survey. The simulations show that changes in family benefits are likely to have both timing and quantum effects on childbirth but of a small magnitude, which tends to support findings using alternative empirical approaches. The simulations also indicate the effects of indirect family benefits, such as paid maternity leave and policies to reduce the time that mothers spend out of the labour force following child birth.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecorec:v:86:y:2010:i:275:p:609-619
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1475-4932.2010.00663.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Whittington, Leslie A & Alm, James & Peters, H Elizabeth, 1990. "Fertility and the Personal Exemption: Implicit Pronatalist Policy in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 545-556, June.
    2. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio C., 1996. "Jointly determined saving and fertility behaviour: Theory, and estimates for Germany, Italy, UK and USA," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1561-1589, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nick Parr, 2011. "The contribution of increases in family benefits to Australia’s early 21st-century fertility increase: An empirical analysis," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 25(6), pages 215-244, July.
    2. Creina Day, 2012. "Will Fertility Rebound In Japan," Asia Pacific Economic Papers 395, Australia-Japan Research Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    3. O'Connor, Peter & Stephenson, John & Yeabsley, John, 2012. "Grow for it - How population policies can can promote economic growth," NZIER Working Paper 2012/1, New Zealand Institute of Economic Research.
    4. Creina Day, 2012. "Economic Growth, Gender Wage Gap and Fertility Rebound," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 88(s1), pages 88-99, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    J13 ; D10 ; J18 ;

    JEL classification:

    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General

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