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What Entices the Stork? Fertility, Education and Family Payments




Developed economies, experiencing concomitant declining fertility and rising educational attainment, have introduced policies to boost fertility. We model substitution of bought-in services for parental time in the rearing and education of children in an economy where technological progress leads households to choose fewer, but better educated, children. We analyse the effects on fertility and education of a baby bonus, paid maternity leave and child-care subsidies. We establish conditions under which either maternity or child-care benefits are more efficacious in raising fertility, and we establish that a lump sum baby bonus will increase fertility only if the bonus increases faster than income per capita. Policies that stimulate fertility also raise parental investment in education per child. Copyright © 2010 The Economic Society of Australia.

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  • Creina Day & Steve Dowrick, 2010. "What Entices the Stork? Fertility, Education and Family Payments," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 86(s1), pages 69-79, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecorec:v:86:y:2010:i:s1:p:69-79

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. B. Caillaud & R. Guesnerie & P. Rey, 1992. "Noisy Observation in Adverse Selection Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 595-615.
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    5. Guesnerie, Roger & Picard, Pierre & Rey, Patrick, 1989. "Adverse selection and moral hazard with risk neutral agents," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 807-823, April.
    6. Bengt Holmstrom, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 74-91, Spring.
    7. Suren Basov & Peter Bardsley, 2005. "A General Model of Coexisting Hidden Action and Hidden Information," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 958, The University of Melbourne.
    8. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2001. "Are CEOs Rewarded for Luck? The Ones Without Principals Are," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 901-932.
    9. Picard, Pierre, 1987. "On the design of incentive schemes under moral hazard and adverse selection," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 305-331, August.
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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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General


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