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Sex and the Single Girl: The Role of Culture in Contraception Demand

  • Kelly Ragan

    (Stockholm School of Economics)

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    Historical differences in out-of-wedlock childbearing predict a quarter of demand for the Pill in Sweden. The positive relationship is robust to the inclusion of extensive economic and demographic controls, marriage market characteristics, and religion measures. Alternative estimators and empirical models that account for fixed community characteristics yield similar results. A model of demand for premarital sex is developed where social sanctions and marriage customs play a prominent role. The model illustrates how these features of culture influence both unwed birth and adoption of new contraceptive technologies. The model and empirical evidence paint a consistent picture; culture matters for contraception demand.

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    File URL: https://www.economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2012/paper_846.pdf
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    Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 846.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:846
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
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    1. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli, 2005. "Fertility: The Role of Culture and Family Experience," NBER Working Papers 11569, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Martha J. Bailey, 2010. ""Momma's Got the Pill": How Anthony Comstock and Griswold v. Connecticut Shaped US Childbearing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 98-129, March.
    3. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2010. "Inherited Trust and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2060-92, December.
    4. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2014. "From Shame To Game In One Hundred Years: An Economic Model Of The Rise In Premarital Sex And Its De-Stigmatization," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 25-61, 02.
    5. Fernández, Raquel & Fogli, Alessandra, 2005. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work and Fertility," CEPR Discussion Papers 5089, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Raquel Fernandez, 2007. "Women, Work, and Culture," NBER Working Papers 12888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Matthias Doepke & Michèle Tertilt, 2009. "Women's Liberation: What's in It for Men?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1541-1591, November.
    8. Raquel Fernández, 2007. "Alfred Marshall Lecture Women, Work, and Culture," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 305-332, 04-05.
    9. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L & Katz, Michael L, 1996. "An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 277-317, May.
    10. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1999. "Beyond the Melting Pot: Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," Papers 1999-10, Laval - Laboratoire Econometrie.
    11. Fernández, Raquel, 2007. "Women, Work and Culture," CEPR Discussion Papers 6153, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Robert J. Willis, 1999. "A Theory of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S33-S64, December.
    13. Guinnane, Timothy W. & Moehling, Carolyn M. & O Grada, Cormac, 2006. "The fertility of the Irish in the United States in 1910," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 465-485, July.
    14. 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.
    15. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," DELTA Working Papers 97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    16. Francine Blau & Lawrence Kahn & Albert Liu & Kerry Papps, 2013. "The transmission of women’s fertility, human capital, and work orientation across immigrant generations," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 405-435, April.
    17. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2009. "Social Change: The Sexual Revolution," RCER Working Papers 550, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    18. 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.
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