Assisted Reproductive Technology and Women’s Timing of Marriage and Childbearing
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This paper exploited variation in mandated insurance coverage of assisted reproductive technology (ART) across US states and over time to examine the connection between the price of ART and women’s timing of family including marriage and child bearing in and out of wedlock. Duration and competing risks analyses were estimated to investigate the effects of ART insurance mandates on women’s timing of first marriage and first birth using the 1968–2009 Panel Study of Income Dynamics. The findings suggest that the mandates were associated with delayed marriage and childbearing at younger ages and an increased likelihood of marriage and motherhood at ages 30 and older, but only for college graduate women. For the full sample of women, the mandates were associated with an increased likelihood of marriage at ages 25 and older and motherhood within marriage after at ages 30 and older, but not with delay at younger ages. Results by race were similar to those for the full sample for Whites, but were generally less significant for Blacks. No significant effects of the mandates were found for out-of-wedlock childbearing.
KeywordsMarriage Fertility Economics of the Family Assisted Reproductive Technology Infertility Insurance Mandates
The author is grateful to Shelly Lundberg, Anirban Basu, Seik Kim, Judith Thornton, Robert Plotnick, Elaina Rose, Rachel Heath, Laura Hosken, and Rob Letzler 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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