The Long Term Effects of Birth Control

Here are a few of the highlights from this working paper:

  • Individuals’ access to contraceptives increased their children’s college completion, labor force participation, wages, and family incomes decades later.
  • Mothers in states permitting the sale of the Pill are less likely to report their children were unwanted or ill-timed—an outcome strongly associated with subsequent developmental issues and diminished lifetime human capital and earnings.
  • Greater access to family planning programs results in a statistically significant 2 percent increase in family income.
  • Children born just after family planning programs began were more likely to complete at least 12, 13, and 16 years of education
  • Children conceived in areas with greater legal or financial access to family planning went on to live in higher-earning households as adults than did children conceived in the same areas whose mothers had less access to family planning.
  • Both increasing legal access and increasing financial access to the Pill are associated with a 2 to 3 percent increase in family income. Scaling these estimates by a guess at the share of children benefiting from them implies much larger effects, perhaps around a 20 to 30 percent gain in family incomes for the children of directly benefiting families.
  • Children conceived in areas with greater financial access to contraception were 2 to 7 percent more likely to attain 16 or more years of education.

In summary, Birth Control is good for the economy, and families.