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Putting teenagers on the pill: the consequences of subsidized contraception

  • Grönqvist, Hans

    ()

    (SOFI, Stockholm University)

This paper investigates the consequences of a series of Swedish policy changes beginning in 1989 where different regions started subsidizing the birth control pill. The reforms were significant and applied to all types of oral contraceptives. My identification strategy takes advantage of the fact that the reforms were implemented successively over time and targeted specific cohorts of young women, in particular teenagers. This generates plausibly exogenous variation in access to the subsidy. The paper first demonstrates that access significantly increased pill use. Using regional, temporal, and cohort variation in access, I then go on to examine the impact on abortions. The estimates show that the subsidy significantly decreased the abortion rate by about 8 percent. Furthermore, long-term access decreased the likelihood of teenage childbearing by about 20 percent. However, there is no significant effect on labor supply, marriage, educational attainment or welfare take-up.

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Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2009:8.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 07 Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2009_008
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  1. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
  2. Elizabeth Oltmans Ananat & Jonathan Gruber & Phillip B. Levine, 2004. "Abortion Legalization and Lifecycle Fertility," NBER Working Papers 10705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Martha J. Bailey, 2009. ""Momma's Got the Pill": How Anthony Comstock and Griswold v. Connecticut Shaped U.S. Childbearing," NBER Working Papers 14675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Grant Miller, 2005. "Contraception as Development? New Evidence from Family Planning in Colombia," NBER Working Papers 11704, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gordon B. Dahl, 2005. "Early Teen Marriage and Future Poverty," NBER Working Papers 11328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
  7. Helena Holmlund, 2005. "Estimating Long-Term Consequences of Teenage Childbearing: An Examination of the Siblings Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
  8. V. Joseph Hotz & Charles H. Mullin & Seth G. Sanders, 1997. "Bounding Causal Effects Using Data from a Contaminated Natural Experiment: Analysing the Effects of Teenage Childbearing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 575-603.
  9. Grönqvist., Hans, 2012. "Putting Teenagers on the Pill: The Consequences of Subsidized Contraception," Working Paper Series 9/2012, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  10. Pritchett, Lant H. & DEC, 1994. "Desired fertility and the impact of population policies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1273, The World Bank.
  11. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
  12. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S76-S108, Part II, .
  13. Melissa S. Kearney & Phillip B. Levine, 2007. "Socioeconomic Disadvantage and Early Childbearing," NBER Chapters, in: The Problems of Disadvantaged Youth: An Economic Perspective, pages 181-209 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Åslund, Olof & Grönqvist, Hans, 2010. "Family size and child outcomes: Is there really no trade-off?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 130-139, January.
  15. Philip Oreopoulos & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "Priceless: The Nonpecuniary Benefits of Schooling," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 159-84, Winter.
  16. 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 nil1-nil1, May.
  17. Martha J. Bailey, 2006. "More Power to the Pill: The Impact of Contraceptive Freedom on Women's Life Cycle Labor Supply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 289-320.
  18. 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.
  19. Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2005. "The Costs of Low Birth Weight," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1031-1083.
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