Øyvind Skorge

Øyvind (Ovi) Skorge, Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University

'The miracle tablet maybe': Legalization of the Pill and Women's Childbearing and Career Decisions

With Henning Finseraas

Social Politics, Volume 26, issue 2, pages 276-298 (Special Issue: Legal Regimes, Women’s Work, and Women’s Empowerment, edited by Mala Htun, Francesca Jensenius, and Liv Tønnesen)

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A substantial literature argues that the legalization of the birth control pill in the United States reduced fertility and enhanced women’s career investments. This study questions whether the broader effects hold across contexts. We use administrative data to study the Norwegian legalization of the pill and find effects on teenage motherhood but not on subsequent career outcomes. Using survey data, we show that the pill's impact on fertility is largest for women with an early sexual debut; nevertheless, broader effects of pill usage are still absent. Our study indicates that the pill cannot explain the rise of Norwegian women's economic empowerment.