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The Role of Culture in Contraception Demand

By Kelly Ragan


This paper studies the e¤ect of culture on the demand for a new technology, the birth control pill in Sweden. Historical factors are economically signi…cant determinants of demand for the pill. Localities with higher out-of-wedlock births or less favorable marriage market conditions for women at the turn of the century have higher demand for the pill six decades later, while localities where the age of …rst marriage was lower have relatively lower demand for the pill. These …ndings are robust to controlling for contemporaneous economic, demographic, and epidemiological factors as well as alternative historical factors such as women’s level of literacy and religious composition.

Year: 2010
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