Do Contraceptives Cause Fertility Transition? Evidence from Korea

Available from SSRN

As the total fertility rate fell from 6.0 to 1.6 from 1960-90, the South Korean government implemented a family planning program focusing on the distribution of contraceptives. While the concurrence has been interpreted as evidence of the public provision of fertility control devices lowering fertility, the causal link has yet to be established controlling for the covariates of fertility. Constructing and analyzing panel data sets, this paper finds that the fertility transition was driven predominantly by per capita output growth, with vasectomy, together with financial development, rising population density, and the public provision of secondary schooling, playing supporting roles.

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