The Pill and Men's Disappearance from the Teaching Sector

Herdis Steingrimsdottir, Copenhagen Business School

In this paper I look at the relationship between increased access to reliable fertility controls and men's disappearance from teaching. Between 1968 and 1980, the ratio of male college freshmen planning to become a teacher fell from 12.4% to 2.4% and the share of males among those who aspired to teach dropped from 30.6% to 19.7%. Using nationally representative data on the career plans of college freshmen I find that unrestricted access to the birth control pill bears a negative relation to the likelihood that men plan to teach, while changes in the strength of teacher unions and relative wages of teachers have limited effect on their career plans. Men’s aspirations shift away from teaching towards occupations that are associated with higher average income like accounting and computer programming. The results are supported by equivalent findings looking at actual career outcomes in the Census Data.

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Presented in Poster Session 4