Department of Economics and Business Economics

Liberalization of Birth Control and the Unmarried Share of Births: Evidence from Single Mothers in the Marriage Market

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  • wp15_25

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  • John Kennes
  • John Knowles, Simon Fraser University, Canada, Canada
Half of unmarried births are to women who are already mothers, and a quarter to women who were previously married. We develop a model of equilibrium matching and fertility to replicate these facts. We use the model to revisit the hypothesis that liberalization of the Pill and abortion caused the massive increase since 1960 in the share of US births to unmarried women. Our results suggest that liberalization alone is ineffective; what matters are interactions between liberalization and the decline in the stability of marriage, and, secondarily, the rising status of single mothers.
Original languageEnglish
Place of publicationAarhus
PublisherInstitut for Økonomi, Aarhus Universitet
Number of pages41
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2015
SeriesEconomics Working Papers
Number2015-25

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