The Effects of Family Benefits on Childbearing Decisions: A Household Optimising Approach Applied to Australia

11 Pages Posted: 1 Jan 2011  

Ross S. Guest

Griffith University - School of Accounting and Finance - Gold Coast Campus

Nick Parr

Macquarie University

Date Written: November 23, 2010

Abstract

This article analyses the effect of family benefits on childbearing decisions using an intertemporal utility maximising framework. The childbirth decisions of households are planned jointly with decisions about lifecycle consumption. The model is calibrated using data for Australia drawn, where possible, from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Wave 7 survey. The simulations show that changes in family benefits are likely to have both timing and quantum effects on childbirth but of a small magnitude, which tends to support findings using alternative empirical approaches. The simulations also indicate the effects of indirect family benefits, such as paid maternity leave and policies to reduce the time that mothers spend out of the labour force following child birth.

JEL Classification: J13, D10, J18

Suggested Citation

Guest, Ross S. and Parr, Nick, The Effects of Family Benefits on Childbearing Decisions: A Household Optimising Approach Applied to Australia (November 23, 2010). Economic Record, Vol. 86, Issue 275, pp. 609-619, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1733405 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4932.2010.00663.x

Ross Guest (Contact Author)

Griffith University - School of Accounting and Finance - Gold Coast Campus ( email )

PMB 50 Gold Coast Mail Centre
9726 Queensland
Australia

Nick Parr

Macquarie University ( email )

North Ryde
Sydney, New South Wales 2109
Australia

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