The Impact of Fiscal Instruments on Fertility : a Synthesis of the Economic Theory
The observed decline in fertility in developed countries raises the question about the possibility of implementing a pronatalist government policy. In particular, possible policies involve modification of: income taxes, consumption taxes and the introduction of subsidies on children. The effectiveness of the listed fiscal policy instruments is debatable and it can be considered from theoretical or empirical point of view. The present work mainly focuses on the first approach, making a synthesis of existing economic theory in terms of the postulated effects of the fiscal instruments used to stimulate the number of children in families. The survey pinpoints two prevalent classes of models: the life cycle with taxpayer having children and multi-period overlapping generation models. The predictions of the models have been criticized, especially in the context of several simplifying assumptions undermining the practical utility of the results. Based on the literature review it can be seen that regardless of the context of redistribution of wealth, the fiscal instruments should affect the number of children in households. Additionally the effective pronatalist policy is not unique and in most cases, it should cover more than one fiscal policy instrument stimulating increase of birth rate. (original abstract)
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