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The Effect of Tax-Transfer Policies on Fertility in Canada, 1921-88

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  • Junsen Zhang
  • Jason Quan
  • Peter van Meerbergen

Abstract

This paper estimates the effect on fertility of the personal tax exemption for children, child tax credit, family allowances, and maternity leave benefits in Canada using time-series data from 1921 to 1988. It is found that the exemption, child tax credit, and family allowances all have significant and positive effects on fertility; the results are robust to a variety of specifications including first-differencing. While the three tax-transfer programs seem to be very distinct, the null hypothesis that they have no differential effects on fertility can hardly be rejected. All the results also hold for the cumulative effect of the three tax-transfer programs. The estimates predict that a large increase in the value of the tax-transfer programs would be needed to increase fertility to the replacement level.

Suggested Citation

  • Junsen Zhang & Jason Quan & Peter van Meerbergen, 1994. "The Effect of Tax-Transfer Policies on Fertility in Canada, 1921-88," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(1), pages 181-201.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:29:y:1994:i:1:p:181-201
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:deveco:v:130:y:2018:i:c:p:33-44 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ralph Lattimore & Clinton Pobke, 2008. "Recent Trends in Australian Fertility," Staff Working Papers 0806, Productivity Commission, Government of Australia.
    3. 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.
    4. Paci, Pierella, 1999. "A bundle of joy or an expensive luxury : a comparative analysis of the economic environment for family formation in Western Europe," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 20118, The World Bank.
    5. Ito, Takahiro & Tanaka, Shinsuke, 2018. "Abolishing user fees, fertility choice, and educational attainment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 33-44.
    6. repec:hir:idecdp:3-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Richard Crump & Gopi Shah Goda & Kevin J. Mumford, 2011. "Fertility and the Personal Exemption: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1616-1628, June.
    8. Ross Guest & Nick Parr, 2010. "The Effects of Family Benefits on Childbearing Decisions: A Household Optimising Approach Applied to Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 86(275), pages 609-619, December.
    9. 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.
    10. Simpson, Nicole B., 2013. "Families, Taxes and the Welfare System," IZA Discussion Papers 7369, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Chang, Wen-ya & Chen, Ying-an & Chang, Juin-jen, 2013. "Growth and welfare effects of monetary policy with endogenous fertility," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 117-130.
    12. Jason M. Lindo, 2010. "Are Children Really Inferior Goods? Evidence from Displacement-Driven Income Shocks," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(2).
    13. Taryn Ann Galloway & Rannveig Kaldager Hart, 2015. "Effects of income and the cost of children on fertility. Quasi-experimental evidence from Norway," Discussion Papers 828, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    14. Mizuochi, Masaaki, 2012. "The Effect of Work-family Balance Policy on Childbirth and Women's Work," Discussion Paper Series 575, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    15. Marc Frenette, 2011. "How does the stork delegate work? Childbearing and the gender division of paid and unpaid labour," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(3), pages 895-910, July.
    16. Adriaan Kalwij, 2010. "The impact of family policy expenditure on fertility in western Europe," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(2), pages 503-519, May.

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