Estimating the Effect of the Colorado Family Planning Initiative

Monday, June 13, 2016: 3:00 PM
402 (Claudia Cohen Hall)

Author(s): Scott Cunningham; Christine Durrance

Discussant: Elizabeth L. Munnich

In 2009, the Colorado Family Planning Initiative provided intrauterine devices (IUDs) at no cost for low-income women. This provision acted as a reduction in the price of contraception, which may have affected births, abortions and sexually transmitted infections. We estimate the effect of the program on these outcomes using state-level differences-in-differences with randomization inference as well as synthetic control. We find modest evidence that the program reduced teen births by approximately 16%, with our best evidence suggesting this was due to declines among Black teens. That reduction translated to 889 averted teenage births, with 279 being Black females aged 15-19. We do not find evidence that the program altered the time path of either abortion rates or gonorrhea incidence. We also explore the effect of the CFPI on educational outcomes, specifically high school completion rates.