Martha Bailey

The impact of U.S. family planning programs on fertility and mortality: Evidence from the war on poverty and Title X

More than 40 years ago, the U.S. government adopted a policy of funding domestic family planning services, and the effects of these programs have been debated ever since. Within an event-study framework, I exploit community-level variation in the timing of federal grants for family planning services under the Economic Opportunity Act (1965 to 1974) and Title X (1970 to 1980) to evaluate their impact. The results provide robust evidence that federal family planning grants reduced birth rates in funded communities by four percent within six years.