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Pill Power: The Prequel

  • Edlund, Lena

    ()

    (Columbia University)

  • Machado, Cecilia

    ()

    (Fundação Getúlio Vargas)

Registered author(s):

    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.

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    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp5468.pdf
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    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5468.

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    Length: 46 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5468
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    1. Jonathan Gruber & Phillip Levine & Douglas Staiger, 1999. "Abortion Legalization And Child Living Circumstances: Who Is The ''Marginal Child''?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 263-291, February.
    2. 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 410-42, June.
    3. Johnson, William R & Skinner, Jonathan, 1986. "Labor Supply and Marital Separation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 455-69, June.
    4. Chinhui Juhn & Kevin M. Murphy, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Family Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 5459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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, 02.
    6. Melanie Guldi, 2008. "Fertility effects of abortion and birth control pill access for minors," Demography, Springer, vol. 45(4), pages 817-827, November.
    7. 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.
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