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Sastry's 10-year study of New Orleans Katrina evacuees shows demographic differences between returning and nonreturning

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Deirdre Bloome wins ASA award for work on racial inequality and intergenerational transmission

Bob Willis awarded 2015 Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Field of Labor Economics

David Lam is new director of Institute for Social Research

Elizabeth Bruch wins Robert Merton Prize for paper in analytic sociology

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Oct 12
Joe Grengs, Policy & Planning for Social Equity in Transportation

Martha J. Bailey photo

Momma's Got the Pill: How Anthony Comstock and Griswold v. Connecticut Shaped U.S Childbearing

Publication Abstract

Bailey, Martha J. 2010. "Momma's Got the Pill: How Anthony Comstock and Griswold v. Connecticut Shaped U.S Childbearing." American Economic Review, 100(1): 98-129.

The 1960s ushered in a new era in U.S. demographic history characterized by significantly lower fertility rates and smaller family sizes. What catalyzed these changes remains a matter of considerable debate. This paper exploits idiosyncratic variation in the language of Comstock statutes, enacted in the late 1800s, to quantify the role of the birth control pill in the 1960s. Almost fifty years after it appeared on the U.S. market, this analysis provides new evidence that oral contraception accelerated the post-1960 decline in marital fertility.

DOI:10.1257/aer.100.1.98 (Full Text)

Country of focus: United States of America.

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