Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 603–633 | Cite as

Turning back the ticking clock: the effect of increased affordability of assisted reproductive technology on women’s marriage timing

  • Joelle Abramowitz
Original Paper


This paper exploits variation in the mandated insurance coverage of assisted reproductive technology (ART) across US states and over time to examine the connection between increased access to ART and female marriage timing. Since ART increases the probability of pregnancy for older women of reproductive age, greater access to ART will make marriage delay less costly for younger single women of reproductive age. Linear probability models are estimated to investigate the effects of ART state insurance mandates on changes in marital status of women in different age groups using the 1977–2010 Current Population Survey. Results show that greater access to ART is associated with marital delay for white (but not for black) women: white women in states with an ART insurance mandate are significantly less likely to marry between the 20–24, 25–29, and 30–34 age ranges, but significantly more likely to marry between the 30–34 and 35–39 age ranges.


Marriage Economics of the family Assisted reproductive technology Infertility Insurance mandates 



Assisted reproductive technology


In vitro fertilization


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Gamete intrafallopian transfer


Zygote intrafallopian transfer


Health maintenance organization


Current Population Survey


Integrated Public Use Microdata Series

JEL Classifications

I18 J12 J13 



I am grateful to Shelly Lundberg, Seik Kim, Judith Thornton, Robert Plotnick, Anirban Basu, and Elaina Rose for their invaluable feedback. I would also like to thank seminar participants at the 2011 Western Economics Association International annual meetings and 2012 Society of Labor Economists annual meetings for their helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U.S. Census BureauWashingtonUSA

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