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The Pill and Marital Stability

  • Andrew Zuppann


    (University of Houston)

Better contraception will have competing impacts on marital stability and divorce rates. Preexisting marriages are likely to become less stable as better contraception raises the value of reentering the dating market. Subsequent marriages are likely to be more stable as couples delay marriages and use better contraception to search for better partners. Â I investigate this hypothesis using variation in access to the birth control pill by state and cohort as developed by Goldin and Katz (2002). Â Access to the pill decreased stability of preexisting marriages and increased stability of subsequent marriages.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Houston in its series Working Papers with number 201310812.

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Date of creation: 20 Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hou:wpaper:201310812
Contact details of provider: Postal: Houston TX 77023
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  1. Donohue, John J. & Levitt, Steven D., 2000. "The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt00p599hk, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  2. Katz, Lawrence & Goldin, Claudia, 2002. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," Scholarly Articles 2624453, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. 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, MIT Press, vol. 121(1), pages 289-320, 02.
  4. Melanie Guldi, 2008. "Fertility effects of abortion and birth control pill access for minors," Demography, Springer, vol. 45(4), pages 817-827, November.
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