Child Benefit Payments and Household Wealth Accumulation

Using the life-cycle/permanent income hypothesis, we theoretically and empirically assess the impact of child benefit payments on household wealth accumulation. Consistent with the predictions of the model, we find that higher cumulative benefits received increase current assets, higher future benefit payments lower asset holding, and that these effects systematically vary over the life cycle. We find different wealth responses to child benefit payments for liquidity constrained and unconstrained households, as predicted by the model.