The Effect of Women's Rights on Women's Welfare: Evidence from a Natural Experiment
26 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2004
Date Written: August 27, 2004
This paper explores whether the welfare of women increased following the extension of women's rights between 1960s and 1990s. Using individual level data on life satisfaction and focusing on changes in birth control rights in twelve European countries, it shows that the extension of both abortion rights and the pill is strongly linked to an increase in life satisfaction of women of childbearing age. Birth control rights also increased women's investment in education, probability of working and income. Other women's rights have proved less beneficial. Mutual consent divorce laws decreased women's welfare. High maternity protection on the job has negligible effects.
Keywords: Natural experiment, differences in differences, women's rights, welfare, life satisfaction
JEL Classification: I38, J16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation