Personal Tax Exemption and Fertility in the United States: An Empirical Study by Age Groups

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Mackenzie C Morris Mahua Barari


In the backdrop of a steep decline in fertility rate in recent years, we reexamine the relationship between the general fertility rate and personal tax exemption (PTE), following the Whittington et. al (1990) pioneering study, using annual time series data from 1960 to 2016. A key feature of our study is that we estimate the fertility model not only for all women ages 15-44, but also separately for younger (15-34) and older women (35-44) due to their diverging fertility trends, thus adding a new dimension to the existing literature. We find PTE to have a significant positive effect and the abortion dummy, income, and unemployment to have significant negative effects on fertility rate, robust to different lag structures and age groups; however, the magnitude of these effects is substantially larger for younger women compared to older women. (J13, J18, D1)

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