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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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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:57:y:2019:i:2:p:813-831 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Karen A. Kopecky, 2019. "The Wife's Protector: The Effect of Contraception on Marriage during the 20th Century," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 31, Economie d'Avant Garde.
    5. repec:bla:jecsur:v:32:y:2018:i:2:p:518-540 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Contraceptive Pill; Marriage; Education; Labor market outcomes; Divorce;

    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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