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How Does Childbirth Alter Intrahousehold Resource Allocation? Evidence from Japan


  • We thank the Institute for Research on Household Economics for providing the data and Ma Boling and Yoshitaka Tsuruta for research assistance. We benefited from Seki Asano, Nobuyuki Hanaki, Charles Yuji Horioka, Miki Kohara, Ryo Nakajima, Aloysius Siow, Atsushi Yoshida, an anonymous referee and participants of various seminars and conferences for their comments. Fujii received financial support from the Lee Foundation (C208/T050015) and SMU Research Grant (C244/MSS7E010). Ishikawa received partial support from the Japanese Economic Research Foundation and from Grants-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B), No. 21730151.


Exploiting unique panel data that include direct measurements of resource allocation within households, we investigated the impact of childbirth on intrahousehold allocation for married Japanese couples. Based on a collective model of the household, we developed reduced-form and structural-form estimation equations that allow us to focus on private goods to track the changes in intrahousehold resource allocation. We found one additional child is associated with a reduction in the wife's private expenditure share by at least two percentage points. This may be because she substitutes more say in decisions on the children for her own private expenditure share.