The Effect of Changes in State and Federal Policy for Non-Prescription Access to Emergency Contraception on Youth Contraceptive Use: A Difference-in-Difference Analysis Across New England States

Contemporary Economic Policy, Forthcoming

29 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2013

See all articles by Danielle Atkins

Danielle Atkins

University of Tennessee - Department of Political Science

W. David Bradford

University of Georgia - Department of Public Administration and Policy; University of Georgia - Department of Economics

Date Written: December 19, 2013

Abstract

One of the more contentious policy changes in the past decade in the United States involves the decisions by several state legislatures and the FDA to permit sales of emergency contraception on a non-prescription basis. We took advantage of a set of natural experiments to estimate the impact of changes in state and federal level non-prescription emergency contraception access on the probability high school students’ sexual and contraceptive behaviors. We extracted data from the Youth Risk Behavioral Survey for New England states that had data about contraceptive use (Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) from 2003 to 2009. We combined this student-level data with information on when states and the FDA began allowing non-prescription sales of EC. We estimated a series of difference-in-difference models on the impact of these policies on the probability that students were sexually active and on the probability of condom or hormonal birth control use conditional on sexual activity. We found that switching emergency contraception to a non-prescription status had no systematic effect on the probability of sexual activity or the conditional probability of hormonal birth control use, but that it significantly reduced the probability that public school students used condoms by between 5.2% and 7.2%.

Keywords: emergency contraception, contraceptive policy, youth sexual behaviors

JEL Classification: I12, I18

Suggested Citation

Atkins, Danielle and Bradford, W. David, The Effect of Changes in State and Federal Policy for Non-Prescription Access to Emergency Contraception on Youth Contraceptive Use: A Difference-in-Difference Analysis Across New England States (December 19, 2013). Contemporary Economic Policy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2369997

Danielle Atkins

University of Tennessee - Department of Political Science ( email )

The Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States

W. David Bradford (Contact Author)

University of Georgia - Department of Public Administration and Policy ( email )

Athens, GA 30602-6254
United States

University of Georgia - Department of Economics ( email )

Athens, GA 30602-6254
United States

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