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Fertility, Female Labor Supply, and Family Policy

  • Hans Fehr
  • Daniela Ujhelyiova

The present paper develops a general equilibrium model with overlapping generations and endogenous fertility in order to analyze the interaction between public policy and household labor supply and fertility decisions. The model's benchmark equilibrium reflects the current family policy consisting of joint taxation of married couples, monetary transfers and in-kind benefits which reduce the time cost of children. Then we simulate alternative reforms of the tax and the child benefit system and analyze the long-run impact on fertility and female labor supply. Our simulations indicate three central results: First, policies which simply increase the family budget either via higher transfers (direct or in-kind) or via family splitting increase fertility but reduce female employment. Second, increasing tax revenues due to the introduction of individual taxation would increase female employment but reduce fertility. Third, revenue neutral policies such as a reform of the benefit structure or a move towards individual taxation combined with an increase in in-kind benefits may achieve both goals and therefore yield significant welfare gains.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/10.1111/j.1468-0475.2012.00568.x
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Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 14 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 138-165

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:14:y:2013:i:2:p:138-165
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  1. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP): Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
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