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The Impact of Emergency Contraception on Dating and Marriage

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  • Andrew Zuppann

    () (University of Houston)

Abstract

I study the effects of improvements in contraception on premarital sexual behavior, pregnancy, and marriage. I develop a model where individuals date before marrying in order to learn about relationship quality. While dating, individuals face the risk of pregnancy or contracting a sexually-transmitted infection (STI). The model predicts that contraceptive improvements increase the number of sexual partners, increase sexual acts, increase STI rates, and, under certain conditions, delay marriages and lower single motherhood rates. I use changes in states' over-the-counter (OTC) sales policies for emergency contraception as a natural experiment in varying access to contraceptive technology. Using multiple sources of data on birth rates, STIs, marriages, and sexual activity, I confirm the predictions of the model and find that OTC policies have a significant impact on sexual behavior and relationships.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Zuppann, 2011. "The Impact of Emergency Contraception on Dating and Marriage," Working Papers 201310815, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  • Handle: RePEc:hou:wpaper:201310815
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    File URL: http://www.uh.edu/econpapers/RePEc/hou/wpaper/201310815.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2002. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 730-770, August.
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    8. Raymond Fisman & Sheena S. Iyengar & Emir Kamenica & Itamar Simonson, 2006. "Gender Differences in Mate Selection: Evidence From a Speed Dating Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 673-697.
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    11. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen & Michael L. Katz, 1996. "An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 277-317.
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    Cited by:

    1. Myers, Caitlin Knowles & Ladd, Daniel, 2017. "Did Parental Involvement Laws Grow Teeth? The Effects of State Restrictions on Minors' Access to Abortion," IZA Discussion Papers 10952, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. repec:eee:jhecon:v:55:y:2017:i:c:p:168-185 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jason M. Lindo & Analisa Packham, 2017. "How Much Can Expanding Access to Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives Reduce Teen Birth Rates?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 348-376, August.
    4. Dills, Angela K. & Grecu, Anca M., 2017. "Effects of state contraceptive insurance mandates," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 30-42.
    5. Martha J. Bailey & Jason M. Lindo, 2017. "Access and Use of Contraception and Its Effects on Women’s Outcomes in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 23465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    contraception; plan b; teen pregnancy; sexual behavior; marriage timing;

    JEL classification:

    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy

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