The Opt-In Revolution? Contraception and the Gender Gap in Wages
AbstractDecades of research on the US gender gap in wages describes its correlates, but little is known about why women changed their career paths in the 1960s and 1970s. This paper explores the role of "the Pill" in altering women's human capital investments and its ultimate implications for life-cycle wages. Using state-by-birthcohort variation in legal access, we show that younger access to the Pill conferred an 8 percent hourly wage premium by age 50. Our estimates imply that the Pill can account for 10 percent of the convergence of the gender gap in the 1980s and 30 percent in the 1990s. (JEL J13, J16, J31, J71, J24)
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.
Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Other versions of this item:
- Martha J. Bailey & Brad Hershbein & Amalia R. Miller, 2012. "The Opt-In Revolution? Contraception and the Gender Gap in Wages," NBER Working Papers 17922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
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- Martha J. Bailey & Melanie E. Guldi & Brad J. Hershbein, 2013.
"Is There A Case for a "Second Demographic Transition"? Three Distinctive Features of the Post-1960 U.S. Fertility Decline,"
NBER Working Papers
19599, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Martha J. Bailey & Melanie Guldi & Brad J. Hershbein, 2013. "Is There a Case for a "Second Demographic Transition"? Three Distinctive Features of the Post-1960 U.S. Fertility Decline," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital in History: The American Record National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Martha J. Bailey, 2013. "Fifty Years of Family Planning: New Evidence on the Long-Run Effects of Increasing Access to Contraception," NBER Working Papers 19493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Machado, Cecilia, 2012. "Selection, Heterogeneity and the Gender Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 7005, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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