Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Opt-In Revolution? Contraception and the Gender Gap in Wages

Contents:

Author Info

  • Martha J. Bailey
  • Brad Hershbein
  • Amalia R. Miller

Abstract

Decades 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)

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/app.4.3.225
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/app/data/2010-0279_data.zip
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/app/app/2010-0279_app.zip
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 225-54

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:4:y:2012:i:3:p:225-54

Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.4.3.225
Contact details of provider:
Email:
Web page: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej-applied
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Web: http://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Martha J. Bailey & Brad Hershbein & Amalia R. Miller, 2012. "The Opt-In Revolution? Contraception and the Gender Gap in Wages," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 225-54, July.
  2. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-44, September.
  3. Fernández, Raquel & Fogli, Alessandra, 2005. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work and Fertility," CEPR Discussion Papers 5089, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2007. "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces," NBER Working Papers 12944, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Black, Sandra E. & Spitz-Oener, Alexandra, 2007. "Explaining Women's Success: Technological Change and the Skill Content of Women's Work," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-033, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. Chinhui Juhn & Sandra E. Black, 2000. "The Rise of Female Professionals: Are Women Responding to Skill Demand?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 450-455, May.
  7. Katz, Lawrence & Goldin, Claudia, 2002. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women’s Career and Marriage Decisions," Scholarly Articles 2624453, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Goldin, Claudia, 2004. "The Long Road to the Fast Track: Career and Family," Scholarly Articles 2920116, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1997. "Swimming Upstream: Trends in the Gender Wage Differential in 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 1-42, January.
  10. Amalia Miller, 2011. "The effects of motherhood timing on career path," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 1071-1100, July.
  11. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2010. "Putting the Co in Education: Timing, Reasons, and Consequences of College Coeducation from 1835 to the Present," NBER Working Papers 16281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299, November.
  13. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709, September.
  14. O'Neill, June & Polachek, Solomon, 1993. "Why the Gender Gap in Wages Narrowed in the 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 205-28, January.
  15. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  16. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2002. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 730-770, August.
  17. Alison J. Wellington, 1993. "Changes in the Male/Female Wage Gap, 1976-85," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(2), pages 383-411.
  18. Melanie Guldi, 2008. "Fertility effects of abortion and birth control pill access for minors," Demography, Springer, vol. 45(4), pages 817-827, November.
  19. Daron Acemoglu & David H. Autor & David Lyle, 2002. "Women, War and Wages: The Effect of Female Labor Supply on the Wage Structure at Mid-Century," NBER Working Papers 9013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Casey B. Mulligan & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Selection, Investment, and Women's Relative Wages Over Time," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1061-1110, August.
  21. Claudia Goldin, 2006. "The Quiet Revolution that Transformed Women's Employment, Education, and Family," NBER Working Papers 11953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Bruce A. Weinberg, 2000. "Computer use and the demand for female workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(2), pages 290-308, January.
  23. Pierre-André Chiappori & Sonia Oreffice, 2008. "Birth Control and Female Empowerment: An Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(1), pages 113-140, 02.
  24. Martha J Bailey, 2006. "More Power to the Pill: The Impact of Contraceptive Freedom on Women's Life Cycle Labor Supply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(1), pages 289-320, 02.
  25. Suqin Ge, 2011. "Women’s College Decisions: How Much Does Marriage Matter?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(4), pages 773 - 818.
  26. Elizabeth Oltmans Ananat & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2012. "The Power of the Pill for the Next Generation: Oral Contraception's Effects on Fertility, Abortion, and Maternal and Child Characteristics," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 37-51, February.
  27. Qingyan Shang & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2009. "Opting For Families: Recent Trends in the Fertility of Highly Educated Women," NBER Working Papers 15074, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Werner Bönte & Stefan Krabel, 2014. "You can’t always get what you want: Gender Differences in Job Satisfaction of University Graduates," Schumpeter Discussion Papers SDP14007, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
  2. Martha J. Bailey, 2014. "Fifty Years Of Family Planning: New Evidence On The Long-Run Effects Of Increasing Access To Contraception," Working Papers 14-15, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Paul Beaudry & Ethan Lewis, 2012. "Do Male-Female Wage Di fferentials Reflect Diff erences in the Return to Skill? Cross-City Evidence From 1980-2000," NBER Working Papers 18159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Erik Hurst & Charles I. Jones & Peter J. Klenow, 2013. "The Allocation of Talent and U.S. Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 18693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Martha J. Bailey & Brad Hershbein & Amalia R. Miller, 2012. "The Opt-In Revolution? Contraception and the Gender Gap in Wages," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 225-54, July.
  7. Machado, Cecilia, 2012. "Selection, Heterogeneity and the Gender Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 7005, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:4:y:2012:i:3:p:225-54. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros) or (Michael P. Albert).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.