The contraceptive pill wasn’t just socially revolutionary, it also allowed women to delay marriage, motherhood and invest in their careers. The consequences of that are profound.
The contraceptive pill had profound social consequences. Everyone agrees with that. But – as Tim Harford explains – the pill wasn’t just socially revolutionary. It also sparked an economic revolution, perhaps the most significant of the late twentieth century. A careful statistical study by the Harvard economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz strongly suggests that the pill played a major role in allowing women to delay marriage, delay motherhood and invest in their own careers. The consequences of that are profound.
Producer: Ben Crighton
Editors: Richard Knight and Richard Vadon
(Image: Oral contraceptive pill, Credit: Areeya_ann/Shutterstock)
Sources and related links
Jonathan Eig - "The Birth of the Pill" London: Macmillan (2014) p7
James Trussell - “Contraceptive Failure In the United States” Contraception 2011; 83(5): pp. 397–404
Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz - “The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women’s Career and Marriage Decisions” Journal of Political Economy 2002 vol 110 No 4
Amalia R. Miller - “The effects of motherhood timing on career path” Journal of Population Economics Vol. 24, No. 3 (July 2011), pp. 1071-1100
Steven E Landsburg - “How much does motherhood cost?” Slate, Dec 2005