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Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development

Talk by Dr. Ana Rodriguez-Gonzalez

The Side Effects of the Oral Contraceptive Pill

November 25, 2022, 10:15 h
Andreasstrasse 15, 8050 Zurich, AND 4.06 (4th floor)

Vorschaubild Ana Gonzales

This paper studies the impact of the oral contraceptive pill on young women’s mental health. Using administrative data from Denmark, we exploit variation in the timing of pill initiation in an event study framework. We find that a few months after getting on the pill, there is an increase in the probability that the girl is diagnosed with a mental health disorder or takes an-tidepressant medication. We then show that there is a large variation in family doctors' propensity to prescribe the pill, which is not driven by observable charac-teristics of their patients. We finally docu-ment that being assigned to a doctor with a high pill prescription rate increases the chances of (early) pill initiation and wors-ens mental health outcomes for teenage girls. The tendency to prescribe the pill is unrelated to outcomes for boys.

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