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The Pill and the College Attainment of American Women and Men

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Author Info

  • Heinrich Hock

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Florida State University)

Abstract

This paper considers the educational consequences of the increased ability of young women to delay childbearing as a result of the birth control pill. In order to identify the effects of the pill, I utilize quasi-experimental variation in U.S. state laws governing access to contraception among female adolescents during the 1960s and 1970s. Inference based on these laws indicates that unconstrained access to the pill increased female college enrollment rates by over 2 percentage points and reduced the dropout rate by over 5 percentage points. Further, early pill access led to a rise in college completion of approximately three quarters of a percentage point among women over the age of thirty. Finally, I analyze the outcomes of men in relation to the contraceptive laws, finding evidence that male educational opportunities also improved due to reductions in undesired early fertility among their female partners.

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File URL: ftp://econpapers.fsu.edu/RePEc/fsu/wpaper/wp2007_10_01.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007-10
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Florida State University in its series Working Papers with number wp2007_10_01.

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Length: 34
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fsu:wpaper:wp2007_10_01

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Related research

Keywords: contraception; human capital; women; men;

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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Contraception & longevity
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2007-11-18 15:56:00
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Goldin, Claudia & Kuziemko, Ilyana & Katz, Lawrence, 2006. "The Homecoming of American College Women: The Reversal of the College Gender Gap," Scholarly Articles 2962611, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Myers, Caitlin Knowles, 2012. "Power of the Pill or Power of Abortion? Re-Examining the Effects of Young Women's Access to Reproductive Control," IZA Discussion Papers 6661, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Miriam Marcen, 2013. "Divorce and the birth control pill," ERSA conference papers ersa13p755, European Regional Science Association.
  6. Marcén, Miriam, 2012. "Divorce and the birth control pill," MPRA Paper 35955, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Edlund, Lena & Machado, Cecilia, 2011. "Pill Power: The Prequel," IZA Discussion Papers 5468, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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