Baby Boom or Bust? The Case of Poland’s Rodzina 500+

Anna Bokun

In an effort to increase one of the lowest EU fertility rates, the Polish government launched a child benefit program, Rodzina 500+ (Family 500+), with the dual purpose of a.) boosting birth rates, and b.) combating child poverty. Implemented in 2016, the program offers families an untaxed, unconditional cash transfer for every second and subsequent child. Data from the Polish Central Statistics Office (GUS 2019) shows births have been rising since 2015 – as has the TFR across the EU – and the Polish TFR increase between 2016-2017 was 1.5 times as large as the increase between 2015-2016, raising the question: did the Family 500+ policy increase the TFR? I will use a difference-in-differences approach to identify the policy’s impact as the difference in fertility changes experienced between 500+ participants and non-participants. In essence, the control group provides a counterfactual -- what would have happened in the absence of 500+?

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 Presented in Session 10. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior & Reproductive Health 2