Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Smock says cohabitation does not reduce odds of marriage

Smock cited in story on how low marriage rates may exacerbate marriage-status economic inequality

Shapiro says Americans' seemingly volatile spending pattern linked to 'sensible cash management'

Highlights

Susan Murphy named Distinguished University Professor

Sarah Burgard and former PSC trainee Jennifer Ailshire win ASA award for paper

James Jackson to be appointed to NSF's National Science Board

ISR's program in Society, Population, and Environment (SPE) focuses on social change and social issues worldwide.

Next Brown Bag


PSC Brown Bags will return in the fall

The Impact of Subsidized Birth Control for College Women: Evidence from the Deficit Reduction Act

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Download PDF versionCollins, Emily Gray, and Brad Hershbein. 2011. "The Impact of Subsidized Birth Control for College Women: Evidence from the Deficit Reduction Act." PSC Research Report No. 11-737. May 2011.

This paper uses a unique natural experiment to investigate the sensitivity of American college women’s contraceptive choice to the price of oral birth control and the importance of its use on educational and health outcomes. With the passage of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, Congress inadvertently and unexpectedly increased the effective price of birth control pills (“the Pill”) at college health centers more than three-fold, from $5 to $10 a month to between $30 and $50 a month. Using quasi-difference-in-difference and fixed effects methodologies and an intention-to-treat (ITT) design with two different data sets, we find that this policy change reduced use of the Pill by at least 1 to 1.8 percentage points, or 2 to 4 percent, among college women, on average. For college women who lacked health insurance or carried large credit card balances, the decline was two to three times as large. Women who lack insurance and have sex infrequently appear to substitute toward emergency contraception; uninsured women who are frequent sex participants appear to substitute toward non-prescription forms of birth control. Additionally, we find small but significant decreases in frequency of intercourse and the number of sex partners, suggesting that some women may be substituting away from sexual behavior in general.

Country of focus: United States.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next