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Coverage of Infertility Treatment and Fertility Outcomes: Do Women Catch Up?

Author

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  • Machado, Matilde P.

    () (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

  • Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna

    () (Universidad de Alicante)

Abstract

The ageing of first-time mothers and the changes in women's labor market conditions have been accompanied by the introduction and subsequent increase in the use of assisted reproductive therapies (ART) that help extend women's reproductive lives. Considering the financial cost of infertility treatments, policy interventions that increase insurance coverage may significantly affect fertility trends, and ultimately, population age structures. However, policies have ignored the overall impact of ART coverage on fertility. In this paper, long-term effects of insurance coverage for infertility on the timing of first births and on total fertility rates are examined. Variation in the enactment of infertility insurance mandates over time and across U.S. states allows the estimation of both the short-term and long-term effects. We concentrate on the effects of the more demanding mandates enacted in six states in the later 80s and 90s. Our results show that the effect of these mandates to cover infertility treatment is positive on the average age at first birth and increases over time. The long-term estimates of the increase in age of first-time mothers range from 3 to 5 months. Importantly, we also show that these mandates do not increase the total fertility rates of women by the end of their reproductive lives.

Suggested Citation

  • Machado, Matilde P. & Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna, 2011. "Coverage of Infertility Treatment and Fertility Outcomes: Do Women Catch Up?," IZA Discussion Papers 5783, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5783
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. M. Kate Bundorf & Melinda Henne & Laurence Baker, 2007. "Mandated Health Insurance Benefits and the Utilization and Outcomes of Infertility Treatments," NBER Working Papers 12820, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    8. Marianne Bitler & Lucie Schmidt, 2012. "Utilization of Infertility Treatments: The Effects of Insurance Mandates," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(1), pages 125-149, February.
    9. Leora Friedberg, 1998. "Did Unilateral Divorce Raise Divorce Rates? Evidence from Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 6398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    11. Marianne Bitler, 2005. "Effects of Increased Access to Infertility Treatment on Infant and Child Health Outcomes: Evidence from Health Insurance Mandates," PPIC Working Papers 2005.06, Public Policy Institute of California.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dolan, Paul & Rudisill, Caroline, 2015. "Babies in waiting: Why increasing the IVF age cut-off might lead to fewer wanted pregnancies in the presence of procrastination," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 174-179.
    2. Sarah Kroeger & Giulia La Mattina, 2015. "Assisted Reproductive Technology and Women’s Choice to Pursue Professional Careers," Working Papers 0115, University of South Florida, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    assisted reproductive technologies; infertility insurance mandates; total fertility; synthetic control methods;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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