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

  • 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)

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.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 455-461

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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. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 1995. "Population Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262181606, June.
  2. Connelly, Rachel, 1992. "The Effect of Child Care Costs on Married Women's Labor Force Participation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 83-90, February.
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  7. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1976. "Child Endowments, and the Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Working Papers 0123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Nerlove, Marc & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1986. "Some Welfare Theoretic Implications of Endogenous Fertility," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 3-31, February.
  9. Lundholm, M. & Ohlsson, H., 1995. "Wages for Women and Publicly Financed Day Care," Papers 1995-23, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  10. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
  11. Cigno, Alessandro, 1986. "Fertility and the Tax-Benefit System: A Reconsideration of the Theory of Family Taxation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1035-51, December.
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  13. Nerlove, Marc & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1984. "Income distribution policies with endogenous fertility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 221-230, July.
  14. Batina, Raymond G., 1986. "The optimal linear income tax with tax credits contingent on fertility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 219-235, July.
  15. Ermisch, John F, 1989. "Purchased Child Care, Optimal Family Size and Mother's Employment: Theory and Econometric Analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 79-102.
  16. Cigno, Alessandro, 1983. "On Optimal Family Allowances," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(1), pages 13-22, March.
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