Quebec's Baby Bonus: Can Public Policy Raise Fertility? Kevin Milligan ~ Vancouver School of Economics ~ University of British Columbia

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

Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, January, 2002.
Google Scholar entry.


In 1988, Quebec introduced the Allowance for Newborn Children, a pro-natalist child benefit that paid up to $8,000 to a family after the birth of a child. Was the program successful? It achieved its goal of increasing family size, but only at a high cost per additional birth. Each child who would not have been born in the absence of the incentive cost the public purse more than $15,000. The main policy lesson from this episode is that, even if the response to an incentive policy is strong, the effective cost per desired result may be very high.


Final version, January 2002: PDF.

version francaise, January 2002: PDF.

Background calculations, January 2002: Excel.

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