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The Pill and Partnerships: The impact of the birth control pill on cohabitation

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Author Info

  • Finn Christensen

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Towson University)

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact on cohabitation behavior of the introduction and dispersion of the birth control pill in the US during the 1960s and early 1970s. A theoretical model generates several predictions that are tested using the first wave of the National Survey of Families and Households. Empirically, the causal effect is identified by exploiting plausibly exogenous variation in state laws granting access to the pill to unmarried women under age 21. The evidence shows that the pill was a catalyst that increased cohabitation's role in selecting marriage partners, but did little in the short run to promote cohabitation as a substitute for marriage.

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File URL: http://www.towson.edu/cbe/economics/workingpapers/2010-02.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Towson University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2010-02.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision: Feb 2010
Handle: RePEc:tow:wpaper:2010-02

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Towson, Maryland 21252-0001
Phone: 410-704-2959
Fax: 410-704-3424
Web page: http://www.towson.edu/cbe/economics/
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Related research

Keywords: Early legal access to the pill; cohabitation; marriage trends;

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Miriam Marcen, 2013. "Divorce and the birth control pill," ERSA conference papers ersa13p755, European Regional Science Association.
  3. 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.
  4. Marcén, Miriam, 2012. "Divorce and the birth control pill," MPRA Paper 35955, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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