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How the other half lived: Marriage and emancipation in the age of the Pill

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  • Edlund, Lena
  • Machado, Cecilia

Abstract

The contraceptive Pill was FDA approved in 1960. However, it would be another decade before young unmarried women had full access. In the meantime, marriage constituted a way to the Pill. The later 1960s/early 1970s also saw a convergence on 18 as the minimum age of marriage, many states lowering it from 21. Exploiting these law changes, we find that a lowered minimum age precipitated marriage, delayed marital fertility, and improved women׳s educational and occupational outcomes. Marriage easing credit constraints combined with the contraceptive properties of the Pill form the hypothesized pathway.

Suggested Citation

  • Edlund, Lena & Machado, Cecilia, 2015. "How the other half lived: Marriage and emancipation in the age of the Pill," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 295-309.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:80:y:2015:i:c:p:295-309
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2015.09.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alger, Ingela, 2020. "On the evolution of male competitiveness," TSE Working Papers 20-1093, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Feb 2021.
    2. Alger, Ingela, 2015. "How many wives do men want? On the evolution of preferences over polygyny rates," TSE Working Papers 15-586, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Oct 2016.
    3. Mølland, Eirin, 2016. "Benefits from delay? The effect of abortion availability on young women and their children," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 6-28.
    4. Andrew Beauchamp & Catherine R. Pakaluk, 2019. "The Paradox Of The Pill: Heterogeneous Effects Of Oral Contraceptive Access," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 57(2), pages 813-831, April.
    5. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Karen A. Kopecky, 2019. "The Wife's Protector: A Quantitative Theory Linking Contraceptive Technology with the Decline in Marriage," Working Papers wp2019_1912, CEMFI.
    6. Damian Clarke, 2018. "Children And Their Parents: A Review Of Fertility And Causality," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 518-540, April.
    7. Chu, Yu-Wei Luke & Cuffe, Harold E & Doan, Nguyen, 2021. "Motherhood Employment Penalty and Gender Wage Gap Across Countries: 1990–2010," Working Paper Series 9446, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    8. David Paton & Stephen Bullivant & Juan Soto, 2020. "The impact of sex education mandates on teenage pregnancy: International evidence," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(7), pages 790-807, July.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Contraceptive Pill; Marriage; Education; Labor market outcomes; Divorce;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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