Educational Disparities in the Battle Against Infertility: Evidence from IVF Success


Using administrative data from Denmark (1995-2009) we find that maternal education significantly determines IVF success (live birth). Compared with high school dropouts, patients with a college (high school) degree have a 24% (16%) higher chance of attaining a live birth through IVF. Our explorations of the mechanisms underlying the education gradient rule out financial considerations, clinic characteristics, and medical conditions. Instead, we argue that the education gradient in IVF reflects educational disparities in the adoption of the IVF technology. These results are important because women’s career and fertility choices are likely to be influenced by the determinants of IVF success.