Greater access to birth control leads to higher graduation r
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When access to free and low-cost birth control goes up, the percentage of young women who leave high school before graduating goes down by double-digits, according to a new study published in the journal Science Advances.

Family planning programs are often justified by claims that it does, but contemporary evidence is unexpectedly weak. Researchers use a natural experiment afforded by a 2009 Colorado policy change to assess the impact of expanded access to contraception on women’s high school graduation.

Linking survey and Census data, the investigators follow a population-representative U.S. sample, including large subsamples of young women living in Colorado in 2010 and in comparison states.

Using a difference-in-differences design, researchers find the expansion of access to contraception was associated with a statistically significant 1.66 percentage-point increase in high school graduation. This increase in graduation represents a 14% decrease in the baseline percentage not graduating high school before the policy change. Results are robust to a variety of sensitivity tests.

Conclusively, the findings indicate that improving access to contraception increases young women’s human capital formation.

Source: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/7/19/eabf6732
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