The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women’s Career and Marriage Decisions

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The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women’s Career and Marriage Decisions

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Title: The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women’s Career and Marriage Decisions
Author: Katz, Lawrence; Goldin, Claudia

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Goldin, Claudia and Lawrence F. Katz. 2002. The power of the pill: Oral contraceptives and women's career and marriage decisions. Journal of Political Economy 110(4): 730-770.
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Abstract: The fraction of U.S. college graduate women entering professional programs increased substantially just after 1970, and the age at first marriage among all U.S. college graduate women began to soar around the same year. We explore the relationship between these two changes and the diffusion of the birth control pill (“the pill”) among young, unmarried college graduate women. Although the pill was approved in 1960 by the Food and Drug Administration and spread rapidly among married women, it did not diffuse among young, single women until the late 1960s after state law changes reduced the age of majority and extended “mature minor” decisions. We present both descriptive time series and formal econometric evidence that exploit cross‐state and cross‐cohort variation in pill availability to young, unmarried women, establishing the “power of the pill” in lowering the costs of long‐duration professional education for women and raising the age at first marriage.
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/340778
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:2624453

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [6902]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University
 
 

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