The Contraceptive Revolution Revisited: A Neo-Classical Model of Sex and Fertility

27 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2013 Last revised: 21 Dec 2017

See all articles by Joseph Burke

Joseph Burke

Watchdog Research; Audit Analytics

Catherine Pakaluk

Catholic University of America - Busch School of Business and Economics

Date Written: December 12, 2017

Abstract

We present a neoclassical model of the effects of contraception on fertility. Demands for sex and children are derived in a standard consumer problem with the addition of a fertility constraint. We evaluate the effect of shocks to contraceptive efficacy on fertility in the model and then extend to include Becker's quality of children variable in a general model of fertility.  We find that positive shocks to contraceptive efficacy generally increase demand for sex and decrease fertility, though fertility may increase for some households. The model provides theoretical support for the robust empirical findings on the power of the Pill.

Keywords: sexual behavior; fertility; demographic transition; contraception; the Pill; economic theory of the household

JEL Classification: D01, J12, J13

Suggested Citation

Burke, Joseph and Pakaluk, Catherine, The Contraceptive Revolution Revisited: A Neo-Classical Model of Sex and Fertility (December 12, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2178778 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2178778

Joseph Burke

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Catherine Pakaluk (Contact Author)

Catholic University of America - Busch School of Business and Economics ( email )

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