The Morning After: Prescription-Free Access to Emergency Contraceptive Pills

Mirjam Reutter
Start date

Monday, 26 Oct 2020, 17:30

End date

Monday, 26 Oct 2020, 18:30


We analyze the introduction of prescription-free access to morning-after pills—emergency contraceptives aiming to prevent unintended pregnancy and subsequent abortion after unprotected sexual intercourse.


Exploiting a staggered difference-in-differences setting for Europe combined with randomization inference, we find sharp increases in sales and manufacturers’ revenues (100%). However, whilst not reducing abortions significantly, the policy triggers an unexpected increase in fertility of 4%, particularly among women aged 25–34. We elaborate on mechanisms by looking at within-country evidence from Germany, which suggests that fertility is driven by decreasing use of birth control pills in response to easier access to morning-after pills.

More information

More information on this seminar can be found on Registration is required and can also be done here.


  • Tinna Laufey Ásgeirsdóttir (University of Iceland)
  • Ana Inés Balsa (Universidad de Montevideo)
  • John Cawley (Cornell University)
  • Hans van Kippersluis (Erasmus University Rotterdam)