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Does Fertility Respond to Financial Incentives?

  • Laroque, Guy

    ()

    (Sciences Po, Paris)

  • Salanié, Bernard

    ()

    (Columbia University)

There has been little empirical work evaluating the sensitivity of fertility to financial incentives at the household level. We put forward an identification strategy that relies on the fact that variation of wages induces variation in benefits and tax credits among "comparable households. We implement this approach by estimating a discrete choice model of female participation and fertility, using individual data from the French Labor Force Survey and a fairly detailed representation of the French tax-benefit system. Our results suggest that financial incentives play a notable role in determining fertility decisions in France, both for the first and for the third child. As an example, an unconditional child benefit with a direct cost of 0.3% of GDP might raise total fertility by about 0.3 point.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3575.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3575
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  1. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2007. "Exploring The Usefulness Of A Nonrandom Holdout Sample For Model Validation: Welfare Effects On Female Behavior," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1351-1378, November.
  2. Apps, Patricia & Rees, Ray, 2001. "Fertility, Female Labor Supply and Public Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 409, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Melissa Schettini Kearney, 2004. "Is There an Effect of Incremental Welfare Benefits on Fertility Behavior?: A Look at the Family Cap," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  4. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 2000. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(467), pages F672-94, November.
  5. Hidehiko Ichimura & Christopher Taber, 2002. "Semiparametric Reduced-Form Estimation of Tuition Subsidies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 286-292, May.
  6. Kevin Milligan, 2002. "Subsidizing the Stork: New Evidence on Tax Incentives and Fertility," NBER Working Papers 8845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Costas Meghir, 1998. "Estimating Labor Supply Responses Using Tax Reforms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 827-862, July.
  8. Heckman, James J & Walker, James R, 1990. "The Relationship between Wages and Income and the Timing and Spacing of Births: Evidence from Swedish Longitudinal Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1411-41, November.
  9. Liliane Brouillette & Claude Felteau & Pierre Lefebvre, 1993. "Les effets des impôts et des allocations familiales sur les comportements de fécondité et de travail des Canadiennes: résultats d'un modèle de choix discrets," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 10, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  10. Daniela Del Boca, 2002. "The effect of child care and part time opportunities on participation and fertility decisions in Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 549-573.
  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.
  12. Alma Cohen & Rajeev Dehejia & Dmitri Romanov, 2007. "Do Financial Incentives Affect Fertility?," NBER Working Papers 13700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. David Blau & Philip Robins, 1989. "Fertility, Employment, and Child-Care Costs," Demography, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 287-299, May.
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