The economic benefits of childbearing

The New Research – The economic boost of childbearing

When American parents take on the burden of bearing and rearing a child, they deliver a huge dividend to society. So concludes a team of economists from Berkeley and Syracuse universities, intent on assessing “the net fiscal externality to being a parent.”

Through careful economic accounting, the researchers assess, on the one hand, the costs a couple incurs as a consequence of becoming parents and the costs society at large incurs through their parenthood and, on the other hand, the economic benefits realized by the couple and by society because of their parenthood. These complex calculations yield the researchers’ “central finding”—namely, that each child parents raise constitutes a net benefit to society amounting to $217,000 in 2009 dollars. In the rather opaque language of economics, “the net fiscal externality of becoming a parent is [thus] positive and substantial.”  There are “substantial public benefits to childbearing.”

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Recommended Resources
Start Your Family: Inspiration For Having Babies
Three Decades of Fertility
Building a God-Centered Family, A Father’s Manual
Babies, Adoption, & Family Logistics: What Every Family Needs to Know

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