Fertility and the Personal Exemption: Comment
One of the most commonly cited studies on the effect of child subsidies on fertility, Whittington, Alm and Peters (1990), claimed a large positive effect of child tax benefits on fertility using time series methods. We revisit this question in light of recent increases in child tax benefits by replicating this earlier study and extending the analysis. We do not find strong evidence to justify the model specification from the original paper. Moreover, even if the original specfication is appropriate, we show that the Whittington et al. results are not robust to more general measures of child tax benefits. While we do not find evidence that child tax benefits affect the level of fertility, we find some evidence of a short-run fertility response that occurs with a two-year lag.
Published: Richard Crump & Gopi Shah Goda & Kevin J. Mumford, 2011. "Fertility and the Personal Exemption: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1616-28, June.
An online appendix is available for this publication.
This paper was revised on December 5, 2011