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

40 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2011

See all articles by Beatrice Brunner

Beatrice Brunner

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Andreas Kuhn

University of Zurich; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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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.

Keywords: baby bonus, scheduling of conceptions, timing of births, policy announcement, abolition effect, birth complications, medical intervention

JEL Classification: H31, J13

Suggested Citation

Brunner, Beatrice and Kuhn, Andreas, Financial Incentives, the Timing of Births, Birth Complications, and Newborns' Health: Evidence from the Abolition of Austria's Baby Bonus. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6141, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1968092

Beatrice Brunner (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

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Zuerich, 8006
Switzerland

Andreas Kuhn

University of Zurich ( email )

Bluemlisalpstrasse 10
Zurich, 8006
Switzerland

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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