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Reexamining the Impact of Family Planning Programs on U.S. Fertility: Evidence from the War on Poverty and the Early Years of Title X

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionBailey, Martha J. 2011. "Reexamining the Impact of Family Planning Programs on U.S. Fertility: Evidence from the War on Poverty and the Early Years of Title X." PSC Research Report No. 11-744. 8 2011.

Almost 50 years after domestic U.S. family planning programs began, their effects on childbearing remain controversial. Using the county-level rollout of these programs from 1964 to 1973, this paper reevaluates their shorter- and longer-term effects on U.S. fertility rates. I find that the introduction of family planning is associated with significant and persistent reductions in fertility driven both by falling completed childbearing and childbearing delay. Although federally funded family planning accounted for a small portion of the post-baby boom U.S. fertility decline, the estimates imply that they reduced childbearing among poor women by 21 to 29 percent.

Country of focus: United States of America.

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