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Targeting Fertility and Female Participation Through the Income Tax

  • Azmat, Ghazala

    ()

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • Gonzalez, Libertad

    ()

    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

We evaluate the effect of a 2003 reform in the Spanish income tax on fertility and the employment of mothers with small children. The reform introduced a tax credit for working mothers with children under the age of three, while also increasing child deductions for all households with children. Theoretically, given the interplay of these two components, the expected effect of the reform is ambiguous on both outcomes. We find that the combined reforms significantly increased both fertility (by almost five percent) and the employment rate of mothers with children under three (by two percent). These effects were more pronounced among less-educated women. In addition, to disentangle the impact of the two reform components, we use an earlier reform that increased child deductions in 1999. We find that the child deductions affect mothers' employment negatively, which implies that the 2003 tax credit would have increased employment even more (up to five percent) in the absence of the change in child deductions.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4405.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Labour Economics, 2010, 17 (3), 487-502
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4405
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  1. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2001. "Welfare, The Earned Income Tax Credit, And The Labor Supply Of Single Mothers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1063-1114, August.
  2. Raquel Carrasco, 1999. "Binary Choice with Binary Endogenous Regressors in Panel Data: Estimating the Effect of Fertility on Female Labour Participation," Working Papers 1999.3, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. Leslie Whittington, 1992. "Taxes and the Family: The impact of the tax exemption for dependents on marital fertility," Demography, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 215-226, May.
  4. 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.
  5. Mike Brewer & Anita Ratcliffe & Sarah Smith, 2007. "Does Welfare Reform Affect Fertility? Evidence from the UK," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 07/177, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  6. Daniela Del Boca & Marilena Locatelli, 2006. "The Determinants of Motherhood and Work Status: a Survey," CHILD Working Papers wp15_06, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  7. Gary S. Becker, 1960. "An Economic Analysis of Fertility," NBER Chapters, in: Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries, pages 209-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Sánchez-Mangas, Rocio & Sánchez-Marcos, Virginia, 2008. "Balancing family and work: The effect of cash benefits for working mothers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1127-1142, December.
  9. Guy Laroque & Bernard Salanié, 2008. "Does Fertility Respond to Financial Incentives ?," Working Papers 2008-10, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  10. Virginia Sanchez-Marcos & Orazio Attanasio & Hamish Low, 2004. "Explaining Changes in Female Labour Supply in a Life-Cycle Model," 2004 Meeting Papers 492, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Whittington, L.A. & Peters, H.E., 1989. "Fertility And The Personal Exemption: Implicit Pronatalist Policy In The United States," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 89-6, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  12. Marco Francesconi & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2007. "The Socioeconomic Consequences of "In-Work" Benefit Reform for British Lone Mothers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
  13. Angrist, Joshua D & Evans, William N, 1998. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 450-77, June.
  14. Marco Francesconi, 2002. "A Joint Dynamic Model of Fertility and Work of Married Women," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 336-380, Part.
  15. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Julian McCrae & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The labour market impact of the working families’ tax credit," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 75-103, March.
  16. Alfonso Alba & Gema Alvarez & Raquel Carrasco, 2009. "On the estimation of the effect of labour participation on fertility," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 1-22, March.
  17. Maria Gutiérrez-Domènech, 2008. "The impact of the labour market on the timing of marriage and births in Spain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 83-110, January.
  18. repec:fda:fdaeee:13 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Reagan Baughman & Stacy Dickert-Conlin, 2003. "Did Expanding the EITC Promote Motherhood?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 247-251, May.
  20. V. Joseph Hotz & Robert A. Miller, . "An Empirical Analysis of Life Cycle Fertility and Female Labor Supply," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 86-15, Chicago - Population Research Center.
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