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Reproductive rights and the career plans of U.S. college freshmen

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  • Steingrimsdottir, Herdis

Abstract

This paper studies the heterogeneous effects of the birth control pill and abortion rights on young people's career plans. In particular, these effects are allowed to vary by sex, race, religion, and, importantly, by level of academic ability. Using annual surveys of over two million college freshmen from 1968 to 1976, I find that the pill mainly affected high ability women, by shifting their plans toward occupations with higher wages and higher male ratios. Abortion rights, in contrast, were mainly shown to affect women in the low ability group, with their plans shifting toward careers associated with lower income and lower prestige scores. My findings also suggest that the career plans of black males were positively affected by both increased access to the pill and abortions.

Suggested Citation

  • Steingrimsdottir, Herdis, 2016. "Reproductive rights and the career plans of U.S. college freshmen," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 29-41.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:43:y:2016:i:c:p:29-41
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2016.07.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:57:y:2019:i:2:p:813-831 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Birth control pill; Contraception; Abortion; Career plans; Gender; Ability;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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