American Economic Review: Vol. 101 No. 4 (June 2011)


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Fertility and the Personal Exemption: Comment

Article Citation

Crump, Richard, Gopi Shah Goda, and Kevin J. Mumford. 2011. "Fertility and the Personal Exemption: Comment." American Economic Review, 101(4): 1616-28.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.101.4.1616


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 specification is appropriate, we show that the results are not robust to more general measures of child tax benefits. (JEL H24, J13)

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Crump, Richard (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)
Goda, Gopi Shah (Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, Stanford U)
Mumford, Kevin J. (Purdue U)

JEL Classifications

H24: Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies; includes inheritance and gift taxes
J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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