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Can Public Policy Affect Fertility?

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  • Douglas E. Hyatt
  • William J. Milne

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between a number of government programs and the total fertility rate. Uisng a simple time series model, which explicitly considers the labor market behavior of women, we find that government programs which implicitly alter the costs of having a child have a small, but positive, impact on fertility. The results suggest that during the 1980s, a one percent increase in the real value of Unemployment Insurance maternity benefits would results in an increase in the total fertility rate of between 0.09 and 0.26 percnet. The paper is timely in view of the recent pro-natalist policies introduced by the Quebec government.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas E. Hyatt & William J. Milne, 1991. "Can Public Policy Affect Fertility?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 17(1), pages 77-85, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:17:y:1991:i:1:p:77-85
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Azarnert, Leonid V., 2010. "Immigration, fertility, and human capital: A model of economic decline of the West," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 431-440, December.
    2. Lefebvre, Pierre & Brouillette, Liliane & Felteau, Claude, 1994. "Comportements de fécondité des Québécoises, allocations familiales et impôts : résultats et simulations d’un modèle de choix discrets portant sur les années 1975-1987," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 70(4), pages 399-451, décembre.
    3. Kevin Milligan, 2005. "Subsidizing the Stork: New Evidence on Tax Incentives and Fertility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 539-555, August.
    4. Daniel Chen, 2011. "Can countries reverse fertility decline? Evidence from France’s marriage and baby bonuses, 1929–1981," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 18(3), pages 253-272, June.
    5. Shelley A. Phipps, 2000. "Maternity and Parental Benefits in Canada: Are there Behavioural Implications?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 26(4), pages 415-436, December.
    6. Edith Duclos & Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2001. "A 'Natural Experiment' on the Economics of Storks: Evidence on the Impact of Differential Family Policy on Fertility Rates in Canada," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 136, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
    7. Colin Cannonier, 2014. "Does the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Increase Fertility Behavior?," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 105-132, June.
    8. Liliane Brouillette & Claude Felteau & Pierre Lefebvre, 1993. "Les effets de la fiscalité sur les comportements de fécondité au Québec," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 19(3), pages 260-278, September.
    9. Azarnert, L.V.Leonid V., 2004. "Redistribution, fertility, and growth: The effect of the opportunities abroad," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 785-795, August.
    10. Anne Gauthier, 2007. "The impact of family policies on fertility in industrialized countries: a review of the literature," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 26(3), pages 323-346, June.

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