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The impact of universal child benefits on family health and behaviours

Laetitia Lebihan and Charles Olivier Mao Takongmo

Research in Economics, 2018, vol. 72, issue 4, 415-427

Abstract: In 2006, the Universal Child Care Benefit was introduced in Canada for all children aged less than 6 years. This program aims to help cover the cost of children and to provide financial assistance to families with young children in their choice of childcare. We exploit this policy change to estimate the effects of unconditional family cash transfers on the health and behaviours of two-parent families and their children. Using a difference-in-differences model, we find no evidence that the program improved child and parental outcomes in aggregate. A modest but fragile beneficial effect is found for low-education families and for girls.

Keywords: Universal child benefits; Health; Well-being; Behaviour (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 J13 J18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1016/j.rie.2018.07.006

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