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American Economic Journal: Economic Policy: Vol. 3 No. 3 (August 2011)

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Do Child Tax Benefits Affect the Well-Being of Children? Evidence from Canadian Child Benefit Expansions

Article Citation

Milligan, Kevin, and Mark Stabile. 2011. "Do Child Tax Benefits Affect the Well-Being of Children? Evidence from Canadian Child Benefit Expansions." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 3(3): 175-205.

DOI: 10.1257/pol.3.3.175

Abstract

We exploit changes in child benefits in Canada to study the impact of family income on child and family well-being. Using variation in child benefits across province, time, and family type, we study outcomes spanning test scores, mental health, physical health, and deprivation measures. The findings suggest that child benefit programs had significant positive effects on test scores, maternal health, and mental health, among other measures. We find strong and interesting differences in the effects of benefits by child sex: benefits have stronger effects on educational outcomes and physical health for boys, and on mental health outcomes for girls. (JEL I12, I31, I38, J13)

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Authors

Milligan, Kevin (U British Columbia)
Stabile, Mark (U Toronto)

JEL Classifications

I12: Health Production
I31: General Welfare
I38: Welfare and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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