Is There an Effect of Incremental Welfare Benefits on Fertility Behavior? A Look at the Family Cap

Melissa Kearney, Journal of Human Resources 39(2), 295-325, April .


This analysis exploits the variation across states in the timing of policy implementation to determine if family cap policies lead to a reduction in births to women aged 15 to 34. Vital statistics birth data for the years 1989 to 1998 offer no such evidence. The data reject a decline in births of more than one percent. The finding is robust to multiple specification checks. The data also reject large declines in higher-order births among demographic groups with high welfare participation rates.

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