Volume 25 - Article 6 | Pages 215-244

The contribution of increases in family benefits to Australia’s early 21st-century fertility increase: An empirical analysis

By Nick Parr

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Date received:09 Feb 2011
Date published:19 Jul 2011
Word count:7284
Keywords:Australia, economic conditions, education, family allowances, family benefits, family policy, family size, fertility, maternal age, maternity benefits, pronatalist policy


Between 2001 and 2008 Australia’s total fertility increased from 1.73 to 1.96. This period also saw changes to family benefits, most notably the introduction of a universal, flat-rate at birth payment and an increased subsidisation of child care. This paper analyses individual-level fertility, using data from a large-scale longitudinal survey and focusing on the effects of changes to family benefits, macroeconomic variables, entitlements to family-friendly working conditions, and socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. It finds the effects of the ‘Baby Bonus’ and the Child Care Rebate are slight. The effects of education, income, occupation, marital status, age and parity are significant.

Author's Affiliation

Nick Parr - Macquarie University, Australia [Email]

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