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Pill Power: The Prequel

Author

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  • Edlund, Lena

    () (Columbia University)

  • Machado, Cecilia

    () (Fundação Getúlio Vargas)

Abstract

Goldin and Katz [2002], in an influential paper, argued that giving unmarried minors access to the contraceptive Pill was instrumental for women's professional advancement, because such access allowed marriage to be postponed. However, by 1960, married women could get the Pill and thence it is not clear why early marriage would interfere with the pursuit of professional interests. We explore the effects of this alternative, earlier, and common, route to the Pill. Using variation in state minimum-age marriage laws (EMA), we find that EMA precipitated marriage, delayed fertility within marriage, and improved the educational and occupational outcomes of women, especially non-college women. Thus, fertility control, marriage notwithstanding, emerges as a key enabler of women's educational and professional advancement.

Suggested Citation

  • Edlund, Lena & Machado, Cecilia, 2011. "Pill Power: The Prequel," IZA Discussion Papers 5468, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5468
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Heinrich Hock, 2007. "The Pill and the College Attainment of American Women and Men," Working Papers wp2007_10_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
    2. Johnson, William R & Skinner, Jonathan, 1986. "Labor Supply and Marital Separation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 455-469, June.
    3. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M, 1997. "Wage Inequality and Family Labor Supply," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 72-97, January.
    4. Jonathan Gruber & Phillip Levine & Douglas Staiger, 1999. "Abortion Legalization and Child Living Circumstances: Who is the "Marginal Child"?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 263-291.
    5. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    6. Melanie Guldi, 2008. "Fertility effects of abortion and birth control pill access for minors," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 45(4), pages 817-827, November.
    7. Pierre-André Chiappori & Sonia Oreffice, 2008. "Birth Control and Female Empowerment: An Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(1), pages 113-140, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marcén, Miriam, 2012. "Divorce and the birth control pill," MPRA Paper 35955, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Jeanne Lafortune & Murat Iyigun, 2016. "Why Wait? A Century of Education, Marriage Timing and Gender Roles," Documentos de Trabajo 468, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    3. Bellido, Héctor & Marcén, Miriam, 2011. "Divorce laws and fertility decisions," MPRA Paper 30243, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Myers, Caitlin Knowles, 2012. "Power of the Pill or Power of Abortion? Re-Examining the Effects of Young Women's Access to Reproductive Control," IZA Discussion Papers 6661, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    contraceptive pill; marriage; education; occupation;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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