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Abortion Legalization and Adolescent Substance Use

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Author Info

  • Charles, Kerwin Kofi
  • Stephens, Melvin, Jr

Abstract

We assess whether adolescents who faced a higher risk of having been aborted are more likely to use controlled substances. We find that adolescents born in states that legalized abortion before national legalization in 1973, during the years when only those states permitted abortion, were much less likely to use drugs than persons from the same birth cohorts born elsewhere. These differences do not exist for earlier or later cohorts. Our results are much the same when we characterize abortion risk by either the birth rate or abortion rate in the year and place of the person's birth.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 49 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 481-505

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:y:2006:v:49:i:2:p:481-505

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References

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  1. Jonathan Gruber, 2001. "Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub01-1, May.
  2. Levine, P-B & Staiger, D & Kane, T-J & Zimmerman, D-J, 1996. "Roe V.Wade and American Fertility," Papers 96-03, Wellesley College - Department of Economics.
  3. Jonathan Gruber & Phillip Levine & Douglas Staiger, 1997. "Abortion Legalization and Child Living Circumstances: Who is the "Marginal Child?"," NBER Working Papers 6034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Blank, Rebecca M. & George, Christine C. & London, Rebecca A., 1996. "State abortion rates the impact of policies, providers, politics, demographics, and economic environment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 513-553, October.
  5. John J. Donohue & Steven D. Levitt, 2001. "The Impact Of Legalized Abortion On Crime," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 379-420, May.
  6. Kane, Thomas J & Staiger, Douglas, 1996. "Teen Motherhood and Abortion Access," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 467-506, May.
  7. Michael Grossman & Theodore J. Joyce, 1991. "Unobservables, Pregnancy Resolutions, and Birthweight Production Functions in New York City," NBER Working Papers 2746, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Janet Currie & Lucia Nixon & Nancy Cole, 1996. "Restrictions on Medicaid Funding of Abortion: Effects on Birth Weight and Pregnancy Resolutions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 159-188.
  9. Sara Markowitz, 2001. "The Role of Alcohol and Drug Consumption in Determining Physical Fights and Weapon Carrying by Teenagers," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 409-432, Fall.
  10. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Ted Joyce, 2001. "Did Legalized Abortion Lower Crime?," NBER Working Papers 8319, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Michael Grossman & Steven Jacobowitz, 1982. "Variations in Infant Mortality Rates among Counties in the United States: The Roles of Social Policies and Programs," NBER Working Papers 0615, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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