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