Fifty Years of Family Planning: New Evidence on the Long-Run Effects of Increasing Access to Contraception

51 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2013 Last revised: 4 Jul 2021

See all articles by Martha J. Bailey

Martha J. Bailey

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 2013

Abstract

This paper assembles new evidence on some of the longer-term consequences of U.S. family planning policies, defined in this paper as those increasing legal or financial access to modern contraceptives. The analysis leverages two large policy changes that occurred during the 1960s and 1970s: first, the interaction of the birth control pill's introduction with Comstock-era restrictions on the sale of contraceptives and the repeal of these laws after Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965; and second, the expansion of federal funding for local family planning programs from 1964 to 1973. Building on previous research that demonstrates both policies' effects on fertility rates, I find suggestive evidence that individuals' access to contraceptives increased their children's college completion, labor force participation, wages, and family incomes decades later.

Suggested Citation

Bailey, Martha Jane, Fifty Years of Family Planning: New Evidence on the Long-Run Effects of Increasing Access to Contraception (October 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w19493, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2336359

Martha Jane Bailey (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics ( email )

611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
United States

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