Working Paper Series
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy
Putting teenagers on the pill: the consequences of subsidized contraception
Abstract: This paper investigates the consequences of a series of
Swedish policy changes beginning in 1989 where different regions started
subsidizing the birth control pill. The reforms were significant and
applied to all types of oral contraceptives. My identification strategy
takes advantage of the fact that the reforms were implemented successively
over time and targeted specific cohorts of young women, in particular
teenagers. This generates plausibly exogenous variation in access to the
subsidy. The paper first demonstrates that access significantly increased
pill use. Using regional, temporal, and cohort variation in access, I then
go on to examine the impact on abortions. The estimates show that the
subsidy significantly decreased the abortion rate by about 8 percent.
Furthermore, long-term access decreased the likelihood of teenage
childbearing by about 20 percent. However, there is no significant effect
on labor supply, marriage, educational attainment or welfare take-up.
Keywords: Natural experiment; abortions; teenage childbearing; labor supply; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: J13; (follow links to similar papers)
33 pages, April 7, 2009
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