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Financial incentives, the timing of births, birth complications, and newborns' health: Evidence from the abolition of Austria's baby bonus

  • Beatrice Brunner
  • Andreas Kuhn
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    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.

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    File URL: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp/econwp048.pdf
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    Paper provided by Department of Economics - University of Zurich in its series ECON - Working Papers with number 048.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:048
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    1. Daniel Chen, 2011. "Can countries reverse fertility decline? Evidence from France’s marriage and baby bonuses, 1929–1981," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 253-272, June.
    2. Kasey Buckles & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2008. "Season of Birth and Later Outcomes: Old Questions, New Answers," NBER Working Papers 14573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Libertad González Luna, 2011. "The effects of a universal child benefit," Economics Working Papers 1281, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    4. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell Salvanes, 2005. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 11796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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.
    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. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Marcus Tamm, 2009. "The Impact of a Large Parental Leave Benefit Reform on the Timing of Birth around the Day of Implementation," Ruhr Economic Papers 0098, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
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