Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 723–769 | Cite as

Assisted reproductive technology and women’s choice to pursue professional careers

  • Sarah KroegerEmail author
  • Giulia La Mattina
Original Paper


We examine the impact of assisted reproductive technology on women’s choice to pursue professional careers. We hypothesize that the availability of assisted reproductive technology increases the expected benefits of a professional degree by allowing women to delay childbearing in their 20s and 30s while establishing their careers, thereby reaping greater financial benefit from human capital investment. State-level timing differences in the enactment of laws which mandated infertility treatment coverage in employer-sponsored health plans allow us to exploit state, year, and cohort variation in women’s ages at the time the laws are passed. These insurance mandates dramatically increase access to assisted reproductive technology. Using a triple difference strategy, we find that a mandate to cover assisted reproductive technology does increase the probability that a woman chooses to invest in a professional degree and to work in a professional career.


Occupational choice Insurance mandates Fertility Professional careers Professional degrees Assisted reproductive technology 

JEL Classification

I13 I26 J13 J24 



The authors would like to thank Daniele Paserman, Claudia Olivetti, Lucie Schmidt, Mark Herander, Kevin Mumford, Osea Giuntella, Maria Navarro Paniagua, Colin Greene, Amalia Miller, Melanie Guldi, Joshua Wilde, Lisa Kahn, David Slusky, two anonymous referees, and numerous seminar and conference participants for helpful comments and suggestions.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.University of South FloridaTampaUSA

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