The Effects of Family Benefits on Childbearing Decisions

A Household Optimising Approach Applied to Australia

Ross Guest*, Nick Parr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-619
Number of pages11
JournalEconomic Record
Issue number275
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

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