Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Mathematical Economics

Reader 1

Roberto Pedace

Reader 2

Sean Flynn

Rights Information

© 2013 Jackie E. Yamanaka


The first oral contraceptive was introduced in the United States during the 1960s, and, subsequently, there was an increase in women’s labor force participation rates. Although the economic role of oral contraceptives is still highly debated by scholars, previous studies have found that the pill had a statistically significant impact on women’s labor force participation rates. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Young Women, I will analyze how hours worked, hourly wages, weekly earnings and occupations for women were affected by oral contraceptives. By controlling for various governing statutes that affected the availability of the use and distribution of oral contraceptives in different states, I am able to provide evidence highlighting the extent of the pill’s significance. I find that early legal access (ELA) to oral contraceptives that resulted from residential states legalizing abortion before others positively and significantly affects women’s hours worked, hourly wages, weekly earnings and whether or not women entered into professional occupations.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.