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Reexamining the Impact of Family Planning Programs on US Fertility: Evidence from the War on Poverty and the Early Years of Title X

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  • Martha J. Bailey

Abstract

Almost 50 years after domestic US family planning programs began, their effects on childbearing remain controversial. Using the county-level roll-out of these programs from 1964 to 1973, this paper reevaluates their shorter and longer term effects on US fertility rates. I find that the introduction of family planning is associated with significant and persistent reductions in fertility driven both by falling completed childbearing and childbearing delay. Although federally funded family planning accounted for a small portion of the post-baby boom US fertility decline, my estimates imply that they reduced childbearing among poor women by 19 to 30 percent. (JEL I38, J12, J13, J18)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/app.4.2.62
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 62-97

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:4:y:2012:i:2:p:62-97

Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.4.2.62
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  1. Jennifer M. Mellor, 1998. "The Effect of Family Planning Programs on the Fertility of Welfare Recipients: Evidence from Medicaid Claims," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(4), pages 866-895.
  2. Jens Ludwig & Douglas L. Miller, 2005. "Does Head Start Improve Children's Life Chances? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," NBER Working Papers 11702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Grant Miller, 2010. "Contraception as Development? New Evidence from Family Planning in Colombia," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(545), pages 709-736, 06.
  4. Martha J. Bailey, 2009. ""Momma's Got the Pill": How Anthony Comstock and Griswold v. Connecticut Shaped U.S. Childbearing," NBER Working Papers 14675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Phillip B. Levine & Amy B. Trainor & David J. Zimmerman, 1995. "The Effect of Medicaid Abortion Funding Restrictions on Abortions, Pregnancies, and Births," NBER Working Papers 5066, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. J. Udry & Karl Bauman & Naomi Morris, 1976. "The effect of subsidized family planning services on reproductive behavior in the United States, 1969–1974," Demography, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 463-478, November.
  7. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L & Katz, Michael L, 1996. "An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 277-317, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Hilary W. Hoynes & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Douglas Almond, 2012. "Long Run Impacts of Childhood Access to the Safety Net," NBER Working Papers 18535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Martha J. Bailey & Nicolas J. Duquette, 2014. "How Johnson Fought the War on Poverty: The Economics and Politics of Funding at the Office of Economic Opportunity," NBER Working Papers 19860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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