An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States

  title={An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States},
  author={George A. Akerlof and Janet L. Yellen and Michael L. Katz},
  journal={Quarterly Journal of Economics},
This paper relates the erosion of the custom of shotgun marriage to the legalization of abortion and the increased availability of contraception to unmarried women in the United States. The decline in shotgun marriage accounts for a significant fraction of the increase in out-of-wedlock first births. Several models illustrate the analogy between women who do not adopt either birth control or abortion and the hand-loom weavers, both victims of changing technology. Mechanisms causing female… Expand

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