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The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime

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  • Donohue, John J.
  • Levitt, Steven D.

Abstract

We offer evidence that legalized abortion has contributed significantly to recent crime reductions. Crime began to fall roughly 18 years after abortion legalization. The 5 states that allowed abortion in 1970 experienced declines earlier than the rest of the nation, which legalized in 1973 with Roe v. Wade. States with high abortion rates in the 1970s and 1980s experienced greater crime reductions in the 1990s. In high abortion states, only arrests of those born after abortion legalization fall relative to low abortion states. Legalized abortion appears to account for as much as 50 percent of the recent drop in crime.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics in its series Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt00p599hk.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:oplwec:qt00p599hk

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  1. Traffic safety, obesity, and ... organ donations
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-10-09 14:32:00
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  1. The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime (QJE 2001) in ReplicationWiki
  2. Economic Logic blog

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