Reexamining the Impact of Family Planning Programs on US Fertility: Evidence from the War on Poverty and the Early Years of Title X
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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Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
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