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The Supply of Birth Control Methods, Education, and Fertility: Evidence from Romania


  • Cristian Pop-Eleches


This paper investigates the effect of the supply of birth control methods on fertility behavior by examining Romania’s 23-year period of pronatalist policies. Following the lifting of the restrictions in 1989 the immediate decrease in fertility was 30 percent. Women who spent most of their reproductive years under the restrictive regime experienced increases in life-cycle fertility of about 0.5 children. Less-educated women had bigger increases in fertility after policy implementation and larger fertility decreases following the lifting of restrictions. These findings suggest that access to abortion and birth control are significant determinants of fertility levels, particularly for less-educated women.

Suggested Citation

  • Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2010. "The Supply of Birth Control Methods, Education, and Fertility: Evidence from Romania," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(4), pages 971-997.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:45:y:2010:i:4:p:971-997

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Elizabeth Oltmans Ananat & Jonathan Gruber & Phillip Levine, 2007. "Abortion Legalization and Life-Cycle Fertility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(2).
    2. Paul Gertler & John Molyneaux, 1994. "How economic development and family planning programs combined to reduce indonesian fertility," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 31(1), pages 33-63, February.
    3. Richard A. Easterlin, 1980. "Population and Economic Change in Developing Countries," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number east80-1, June.
    4. Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2006. "The Impact of an Abortion Ban on Socioeconomic Outcomes of Children: Evidence from Romania," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 744-773, August.
    5. Paul Gertler & Jack Molyneaux, 1994. "Erratum to: How Economic Development and Family Planning Programs Combined to Reduce Indonesian Fertility," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 31(2), pages 1-1, May.
    6. Richard Easterlin, 1980. "Introduction to "Population and Economic Change in Developing Countries"," NBER Chapters, in: Population and Economic Change in Developing Countries, pages 1-4, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Florin Stanica Soare, 2013. "Ceausescu’s population policy: a moral or an economic choice between compulsory and voluntary incentivised motherhood?," European Journal of Government and Economics, Europa Grande, vol. 2(1), pages 59-78, June.
    2. Nuevo-Chiquero, Ana & Pino, Francisco J., 2019. "To Pill or Not to Pill? Access to Emergency Contraception and Contraceptive Behaviour," IZA Discussion Papers 12076, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Valente, Christine, 2014. "Access to abortion, investments in neonatal health, and sex-selection: Evidence from Nepal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 225-243.
    4. Libertad González & Sergi Jiménez-Martín & Natalia Nollenberger & Judit Vall-Castello, 2018. "The Effect of Abortion Legalization on Fertility, Marriage and Long-Term Outcomes for Women," Working Papers 1035, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    5. Mitrut, Andreea & Wolff, François-Charles, 2011. "The impact of legalized abortion on child health outcomes and abandonment. Evidence from Romania," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1219-1231.
    6. Kelly M. Jones, 2015. "Contraceptive Supply and Fertility Outcomes: Evidence from Ghana," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(1), pages 31-69.
    7. Maria Apostolova‐Mihaylova & Aaron Yelowitz, 2018. "Health Insurance, Fertility, And The Wantedness Of Pregnancies: Evidence From Massachusetts," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 59-72, January.
    8. Gutierrez, Federico H., 2018. "The Inter-generational Fertility Effect of an Abortion Ban: Understanding the Role of Inherited Wealth and Preferences," GLO Discussion Paper Series 167, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    9. Skoufias,Emmanuel & Vinha,Katja Pauliina, 2020. "Child Stature, Maternal Education, and Early Childhood Development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9396, The World Bank.
    10. Grant Miller & Christine Valente, 2016. "Population Policy: Abortion and Modern Contraception Are Substitutes," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(4), pages 979-1009, August.
    11. Jungho Kim, 2016. "Female education and its impact on fertility," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 228-228, February.
    12. Ofer Malamud & Cristian Pop-Eleches & Miguel Urquiola, 2016. "Interactions Between Family and School Environments: Evidence on Dynamic Complementarities?," NBER Working Papers 22112, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. José-Ignacio Antón & Zuleika Ferre & Patricia Triunfo, 2016. "The impact of abortion legalisation on birth outcomes in Uruguay," Economics working papers 2016-06, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    14. 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.
    15. Lant Pritchett, Justin Sandefur, 2013. "Context Matters for Size: Why External Validity Claims and Development Practice Don't Mix-Working Paper 336," Working Papers 336, Center for Global Development.

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