Does Family Planning Increase Children’s Opportunities? Evidence from the War on Poverty and the Early Years of Title X
42 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2016
Date Written: June 1, 2016
This paper examines the relationship between parents’ access to family planning and the economic resources of the average child. Using the county-level introduction of U.S. family planning programs between 1964 and 1973, we find that children born after programs began had 2.5% higher household incomes. They were also 7% less likely to live in poverty and 11% less likely to live in households receiving public assistance. Even with extreme assumptions about selection, these estimates are large enough to imply that family planning programs directly increased children’s resources, including increases in mothers’ paid work and increased childbearing within marriage.
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