Can Family Planning Increase Children’s Opportunities? Evidence from the War on Poverty and Title X

IZA Logo

IZA Seminar

Place: Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 9, 53113 Bonn

Date: 16.06.2015, 12:15 - 13:30


Presentation by 

Martha J. Bailey (University of Michigan)


This paper examines the relationship between parents’ access to family planning and their children’s economic resources. Using the county-level roll-out of U.S. family planning programs from 1964 to 1973, we compare the outcomes of children born just before versus just after programs’ introduction. We find that the household incomes were 3 percent higher among children born after family planning programs began. These children were also 8 percent less likely to live in poverty and 11 percent less likely to live in households receiving public assistance. A bounding exercise shows that even the most extreme case of selection fails to explain these effects, suggesting that family planning programs directly reduced children’s economic disadvantage by empowering parents.

For more information, please contact