Book Reviews -- the Cost of Raising Children in Canada by Robin A. Douthitt and Joanne Fedyk

By Porter, Elaine G. | Journal of Comparative Family Studies, Autumn 1994 | Go to article overview

Book Reviews -- the Cost of Raising Children in Canada by Robin A. Douthitt and Joanne Fedyk


Porter, Elaine G., Journal of Comparative Family Studies


DOUTHITT, Robin A. and Joanne FEDYK, THE COST OF RAISING CHILDREN IN CANADA. Toronto, Ontario.: Butterworths, 1990, 210 pp., $44.95 hardcover.

This book is strictly a manual intended for professional such as lawyers and financial planners and for astute family members who need to access a detailed accounting system to determine family expenditures on children. It is not useful for looking at average expenditures at an aggregate level; on the contrary, the various worksheets contained within the book are to be used on individual families. The series of 90 tables of percentages of income allocated to various expenditures are the results of multiple applications of the multinominal logit budget allocation model (Tyrell, 1979). This technique improves on that used by Espenshade (1984) by allowing for family size and household composition to vary in the calculations. The 1982 Family Expenditure Survey conducted by Statistics Canada form the database used to obtain the estimates.

The strength of this workbook lies in the level of disaggregation of the reported costs. The least valuable of their breakdowns from a practical point of view may be those by region of the country (Prairie provinces and Atlantic region, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec) since there is little variation among them. More useful are the eighteen tables per region showing expenditures on children i terms of the following categories: 1) food; 2) clothing; 3) education and related expenditures; 4) transportation; 5) utilities; 6) health care; 7) household operations; 8) housing; 9) child care; and 10) savings. Deliberately excluded (although the reason is not clearly given) are expenditures on other durable goods associated with having children such as buying a car for a teenager. Finally, the expenditures are reported for three different segment of the income distribution, the upper middle, middle and lower-middle and by parental employment status. …

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