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Financial Incentives, the Timing of Births, Birth Complications, and Newborns' Health: Evidence from the Abolition of Austria's Baby Bonus

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  • Brunner, Beatrice

    () (Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW))

  • Kuhn, Andreas

    () (Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training)

Abstract

We analyze the fertility and health effects resulting from the abolition of the Austrian baby bonus in January 1997. The abolition of the benefit was publicly announced about ten months in advance, creating the opportunity for prospective parents to (re-)schedule conceptions accordingly. We find robust evidence that, within the month before the abolition, about 8% more children were born as a result of (re-)scheduling conceptions. At the same time, there is no evidence that mothers deliberately manipulated the date of birth through medical intervention. We also find a substantial and significant increase in the fraction of birth complications, but no evidence for any resulting adverse effects on newborns' health.

Suggested Citation

  • Brunner, Beatrice & Kuhn, Andreas, 2011. "Financial Incentives, the Timing of Births, Birth Complications, and Newborns' Health: Evidence from the Abolition of Austria's Baby Bonus," IZA Discussion Papers 6141, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6141
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tamm, Marcus, 2013. "The Impact of a Large Parental Leave Benefit Reform on the Timing of Birth around the Day of Implementation," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 585-601.
    2. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2007. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 409-439.
    3. Kasey S. Buckles & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2013. "Season of Birth and Later Outcomes: Old Questions, New Answers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 711-724, July.
    4. Edith Duclos & Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2001. "A 'Natural Experiment' on the Economics of Storks: Evidence on the Impact of Differential Family Policy on Fertility Rates in Canada," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 136, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
    5. 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.
    6. Libertad González Luna, 2011. "The effects of a universal child benefit," Economics Working Papers 1281, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    7. Stacy Dickert-Conlin & Amitabh Chandra, 1999. "Taxes and the Timing of Birth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 161-177, February.
    8. Gans, Joshua S. & Leigh, Andrew, 2009. "Born on the first of July: An (un)natural experiment in birth timing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 246-263, February.
    9. Robert Drago & Katina Sawyer & Karina M Shreffler & Diana Warren & Mark Wooden, 2009. "Did Australia's Baby Bonus Increase the Fertility Rate?," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2009n01, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    10. 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.
    11. Wojciech Kopczuk & Joel Slemrod, 2003. "Dying to Save Taxes: Evidence from Estate-Tax Returns on the Death Elasticity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 256-265, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    timing of births; medical intervention; policy announcement; abolition effect; baby bonus; birth complications; scheduling of conceptions;

    JEL classification:

    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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