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The Pill and Partnerships: The impact of the birth control pill on cohabitation

  • Finn Christensen


    (Department of Economics, Towson University)

This paper investigates the impact on cohabitation behavior of the introduction and dispersion of the birth control pill in the US during the 1960s and early 1970s. A theoretical model generates several predictions that are tested using the first wave of the National Survey of Families and Households. Empirically, the causal effect is identified by exploiting plausibly exogenous variation in state laws granting access to the pill to unmarried women under age 21. The evidence shows that the pill was a catalyst that increased cohabitation's role in selecting marriage partners, but did little in the short run to promote cohabitation as a substitute for marriage.

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File Function: First version, 2010
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Paper provided by Towson University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2010-02.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision: Feb 2010
Handle: RePEc:tow:wpaper:2010-02
Contact details of provider: Postal: Towson, Maryland 21252-0001
Phone: 410-704-2959
Fax: 410-704-3424
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