Does welfare reform affect fertility? Evidence from the UK
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- Brewer, M., Ratcliffe, A. & dSmith, S. J Popul Econ (2012) 25: 245. doi:10.1007/s00148-010-0332-x
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This paper provides evidence on the effect of welfare reform on fertility, focusing on UK reforms in 1999 that increased per-child spending by 50% in real terms. We use a difference-in-differences approach, exploiting the fact that the reforms were targeted at low-income households. The reforms were likely to differentially affect the fertility of women in couples and single women because of the opportunity cost effects of the welfare-to-work element. We find no increase in births among single women, but evidence to support an increase in births (by around 15%) among coupled women.