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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Quebec’s Baby Bonus: Can Public Policy Raise Fertility?

Research Report by Kevin Milligan

This article, by Kevin Milligan, looks at the Government of Quebec’s pro-natalist Allowance for Newborn Children (ANC), an initiative aiming to rise the natality level to a higher percentage andwhich came to be in 1988. Milligan uses comparisons of statistical data between Quebec and the rest of Canada (ROC) to measure what effect, if any, the ANC had on childbirth in the Province. The author, whose research controls for several factors including immigrant background, civil status and economic trends, finds that “the fertility behaviour observed in Quebec lines up very well with the incentives families faced under the ANC.” In fact, Milligan finds a 14.5 percent increase in births during the period of study, when accounting for births that would have happened without the Allowance. Milligan calculates that each additional child born cost the Quebec government $15,472. He thus comes to three conclusions: 1) that public policy can prove to shape individual behaviours; 2) that the costs of this specific program are large considering the fact that money was also sent to families who would have had children, with or without the policy; and, 3) that the distributional effect may not be as it was originally predicted.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Kevin Milligan;
Publisher: C.D. Howe Institute [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2002; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: Provincial;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Health Care / Population Health
Policy Articles / Health Care
Policy Articles / Health Care / Population Health / 2002
Policy Articles / Health Care / Fertility
Policy Articles / Health Care / Fertility / 2002


Keywords / Tags:

birth rate; Québec; fertility; births; Allowance for Newborn Children; allowances; subsidies; incentives; predictions;