Turning back the ticking clock: the effect of increased affordability of assisted reproductive technology on women’s marriage timing

This paper exploits variation in the mandated insurance coverage of assisted reproductive technology (ART) across US states and over time to examine the connection between increased access to ART and female marriage timing. Since ART increases the probability of pregnancy for older women of reproductive age, greater access to ART will make marriage delay less costly for younger single women of reproductive age. Linear probability models are estimated to investigate the effects of ART state insurance mandates on changes in marital status of women in different age groups using the 1977-2010 Current Population Survey. Results show that greater access to ART is associated with marital delay for white (but not for black) women: white women in states with an ART insurance mandate are significantly less likely to marry between the 20-24, 25-29, and 30-34 age ranges, but significantly more likely to marry between the 30-34 and 35-39 age ranges.