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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of Policy Analysis and Management
Title The effects of contraception on female poverty
Volume 33
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 602-622
URL http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
Poverty rates are particularly high among households headed by single women,
and childbirth is often the event preceding these households’ poverty spells. This
paper examines the relationship between legal access to the birth control pill and
female poverty. We rely on exogenous cross-state variation in the year in which oral
contraception became legally available to young, single women. Using census data
from 1960 to 1990, we find that having legal access to the birth control pill by age
20 significantly reduces the probability that a woman is subsequently in poverty. We
estimate that early legal access to oral contraception reduces female poverty by 0.5
percentage points, even when controlling for completed education, employment status,
and household composition.

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