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Who takes care of the children? The quantity-quality model revisited

Author

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  • Henry Ohlsson

    () (Department of Economics, Göteborg University, Box 640, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden)

  • Michael Lundholm

    () (Department of Economics, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden)

Abstract

We study the Becker and Lewis (1973) quantity-quality model of children adding an explicit child care time constraint for parents. Parents can take care of the children themselves or purchase day care. Our results are: (i) If there only is own care, a quantity-quality trade-off, different from that of Becker and Lewis (1973), arises. The income effect on fertility is positive if child quantity is a closer complement than child quality to the consumption of goods. (ii) If, instead, there is a combination of purchased and own care, the effect of income on fertility is ambiguous, even if quantity of children is a normal good in the standard sense. This is the Becker and Lewis (1973) result extended to a situation with a binding child care time constraint. The conclusion is that the Becker and Lewis (1973) result holds as long as at least some child care is purchased.

Suggested Citation

  • Henry Ohlsson & Michael Lundholm, 2002. "Who takes care of the children? The quantity-quality model revisited," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(3), pages 455-461.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:15:y:2002:i:3:p:455-461
    Note: Received: 12 November 1999/Accepted: 1 September 2000
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    1. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1976. "Child Endowments and the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 143-162, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wolter, Stefan C., 2003. "Sibling Rivalry: A Six Country Comparison," IZA Discussion Papers 734, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Noemi Peter & Petter Lundborg & Dinand Webbink, 2015. "The Effect of Sibling's Gender on Earnings, Education and Family Formation," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-073/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Anu Rammohan & Stephen Whelan, 2006. "Child Care Costs and the Employment Status of Married Australian Mothers," CEPR Discussion Papers 517, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    4. Åslund, Olof & Grönqvist, Hans, 2010. "Family size and child outcomes: Is there really no trade-off?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 130-139, January.
    5. repec:eme:ijsepp:ijse-12-2014-0246 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Minagawa Junichi & Upmann Thorsten, 2014. "A Single Parent’s Labor Supply: Evaluating Different Child Care Fees within an Intertemporal Framework," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 14(1), pages 1-39, January.
    7. Rafael Barrera Gutiérrez, 2011. "El vacío institucional en el modelo de elección racional aplicado a la fecundidad," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 13(25), pages 223-248, July-Dece.
    8. María Suárez, 2013. "Working mothers’ decisions on childcare: the case of Spain," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 545-561, December.
    9. Wolter, Stefan C. & Coradi Vellacott, Maja, 2002. "Sibling Rivalry: A Look at Switzerland with PISA Data," IZA Discussion Papers 594, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Junichi Minagawa & Thorsten Upmann, 2006. "Labor Supply and the Demand for Child Care: An Intertemporal Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 1819, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Schrage, Andrea, 2007. "Low Fertility of Highly Educated Women: The Impact of Child Care Infrastructure," University of Regensburg Working Papers in Business, Economics and Management Information Systems 421, University of Regensburg, Department of Economics.
    12. Laura C. Blanco, 2017. "Inertial reproduction: is the two-child psychology the rule in Costa Rica?," Working Papers 201703, Universidad de Costa Rica, revised Dec 2017.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility · child care · quantity-quality trade-off;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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