Do Contraceptives Cause Fertility Transition? Evidence from Korea

34 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2018

Date Written: June 9, 2018


As the total fertility rate fell from 6.0 to 1.6 from 1960-90, the South Korean government implemented a family planning program focusing on the distribution of contraceptives. While the concurrence has been interpreted as evidence of the public provision of fertility control devices lowering fertility, the causal link has yet to be established controlling for the covariates of fertility. Constructing and analyzing panel data sets, this paper finds that the fertility transition was driven predominantly by per capita output growth, with vasectomy, together with financial development, rising population density, and the public provision of secondary schooling, playing supporting roles.

Keywords: Fertility Transition, South Korea, Contraceptives, Schooling, Financial Development

JEL Classification: E21, O11, O53

Suggested Citation

Cha, Myung Soo, Do Contraceptives Cause Fertility Transition? Evidence from Korea (June 9, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Myung Soo Cha (Contact Author)

Yeungnam University ( email )

280 Daehak-ro
Kyungsan, Kyungsan 38541
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

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