The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women’s Career and Marriage Decisions

  title={The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women’s Career and Marriage Decisions},
  author={Claudia Dale Goldin and Lawrence F. Katz},
  journal={Journal of Political Economy},
  pages={730 - 770}
The fraction of U.S. college graduate women entering professional programs increased substantially just after 1970, and the age at first marriage among all U.S. college graduate women began to soar around the same year. We explore the relationship between these two changes and the diffusion of the birth control pill (“the pill”) among young, unmarried college graduate women. Although the pill was approved in 1960 by the Food and Drug Administration and spread rapidly among married women, it did… 

More Power to the Pill: The Impact of Contraceptive Freedom on Women's Labor-Force Participation

It is suggested that early legal access to the pill significantly reduced the likelihood of a first birth before age 22 and birth control may have accelerated the growth in younger women's labor-force participation in the U.S. after 1970.

Career and Marriage in the Age of the Pill.

A series of connections that link the birth-control pill to the increase of women in professional occupations are explored, including the correspondence among breaks in various time series and in the logic of the relationships among the pill, career, and marriage.

The Pill and the College Attainment of American Women and Men

Investigation of quasi-experimental variation in U.S. state laws governing access to contraception among female adolescents during the 1960s and 1970s indicates that unconstrained access to the pill increased female college enrollment rates and reduced the dropout rate.

The Power of the Pill for the Next Generation

It is found that early pill access led to an increase in the share of children whose mothers were married, college-educated, and had professional occupations, and that availability of the pill lowered abortions among young women.

The Power of the Pill: A Path Analysis

The results show that there are strongly positive impacts induced by the pill on women’s job status, the age at first marriage of women, girls’ education, women�'s labor force participation but relatively little on women's earnings.

The Power of the Pill for the Next Generation: Oral Contraception's Effects on Fertility, Abortion, and Maternal and Child Characteristics

The results suggest that abortion and the pill are on average used for different purposes by different women, but on the margin, some women substitute from abortion toward the pill when both are available.

Marriage and Emancipation in the Age of the Pill

Divorce and the Birth Control Pill in the US, 1950–85

ABSTRACT This paper explores the relationship between the advent of the birth control pill and divorce rates. Women using the pill can decide when and whether to have children and whether to maintain

More Power to the Pill: The Impact of Contraceptive Freedom on Women's Life Cycle Labor Supply

The release of Enovid in 1960, the first birth control pill, afforded U. S. women unprecedented freedom to plan childbearing and their careers. This paper uses plausibly exogenous variation in state

The Paradox of the Pill: Heterogeneous Effects of Oral Contraceptive Access

Investigating whether the oral contraceptive pill played a causal role in the rise of nonmarital births finds that changes in marital access to the pill increased the non marital birthrate by between 15% and 18%, accounting for about one‐third of the overall increase in nonmarITAL births.



The Impact of the Female Marriage Squeeze and the Contraceptive Revolution on Sex Roles and the Women's Liberation Movement in the United States, 1960 to 1975.

This paper argues that the advent of the Womens Liberation Movement was very much interconnected to the revolution in contraceptive technology which began in 1960 and a marked shift in the ratio of

Career and Family: College Women Look to the Past

Tracing the demographic and labor force experiences of four cohorts of college women across the past century allows us to observe the choices each made and how the constraints facing college women loosened over time.

On the economics of marriage : a theory of marriage, labor, and divorce

Developing a general theory of marriage that draws on economic analysis, this book considers ways in which the supply and demand of male and female partners affects marriage, co-habitation, labour

Sex Discrimination and Admission to Medical School, 1929-1984

  • S. Cole
  • Medicine
    American Journal of Sociology
  • 1986
From 1929 to the present time, women applicants to medical school had just as good a chance of being accepted as men applicants, and the qualifications of the men and women applicants were essentially equal.

Contraception and the status of women: what is the link?

In this article we explore the notion that easy access to near-perfect contraception--that is contraception that allows virtually complete control over the occurrence and timing of childbearing--is

The Effect of the Vietnam War on Numbers of Medical School Applicants

  • A. Singer
  • Education
    Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
  • 1989
The patterns of enrollments and degrees attained by women are quite different from the men's patterns, and they serve to reinforce the evidence of a draft effect, as can be seen when population effects are factored out.

Sexual experience of young unmarried women in the United States.

The investigation indicates that the likelihood that a young never-married woman will experience coitus rises from 14 percent at age 15 to 46 percent by age 19, and nearly 54 percent of black women aged 15-19 have had intercourse as opposed to 23 percent white women.

The Rise of Female Professionals: Are Women Responding to Skill Demand?

For years, college-educated women were limited mainly to lower-paying, female-dominated professions such as teaching and nursing. Over the past several decades, however, there has been a remarkable

Sexual and contraceptive experience of young unmarried women in the United States, 1976 and 1971.

The prevalence of sexual activity among never-married U.S. teenage women increased by 30 percent between 1971 and 1976; so that by age 19, 55 percent have had sexual intercourse. The increase, which

Roe V. Wade and American Fertility

A complete recriminalization of abortion nationwide could result in 440,000 additional births per year, and a reversal of the Roe v Wade decision leaving abortion legal in some states would substantially limit this impact because of the extent of travel between states.