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Restriction on Medicaid Funding of Abortion: Effects on Birth Weight and Pregnancy Resolution

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Author Info

  • Currie, J.
  • Nixon, L.
  • Cole, N.

Abstract

Previous research suggests that restricting the availability of abortion reduces average birth weight. In this paper we use data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to reexamine this question. Most previous studies have estimated the probability that a pregnancy is carried to term, and then used these estimates to calculate "selection corrections" that are included in models of birth weight. We focus instead on reduced form models of birth weight that are not affected by underreporting of abortion, and that do not involve strong identifying restrictions. We also explore the potential endogeneity of abortion laws by comparing jurisdictions with abortion restrictions to jurisdictions where restrictive laws have been passed but are enjoined by the courts. Our results provide little support for the hypothesis that restrictions reduce average birth weight. We also find some evidence that abortion restrictions are endogenous, and that estimated effects on birth weight may reflect unobserved characteristics of states.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by RAND - Labor and Population Program in its series Papers with number 95-02.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:randlp:95-02

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Postal: RAND, Labor and Population Program, 1700 Main Street, P.O. Box 2138 Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138.
Phone: (310) 393-0411, x7359
Fax: 310-393-4818
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Web page: http://www.rand.org/labor.html
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Related research

Keywords: abortion ; public funding;

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Cited by:
  1. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Melvin Stephens Jr., 2002. "Abortion Legalization and Adolescent Substance Use," NBER Working Papers 9193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Sen, Bisakha, 2003. "A Preliminary Investigation of The Effects of Restrictions on Medicaid Funding for Abortions on Female STD Rates," MPRA Paper 1074, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Medoff, Marshall H., 1999. "An estimate of teenage abortion demand," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 175-184, July.
  4. Charles L. Baum, 2004. "The Effects of Employment while Pregnant on Health at Birth," Working Papers 200408, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.
  5. Valente, Christine, 2014. "Access to abortion, investments in neonatal health, and sex-selection: Evidence from Nepal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 225-243.
  6. Sen, Bisakha, 2003. "An indirect test for whether restricting Medicaid funding for abortion increases pregnancy-avoidance behavior," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 155-163, November.
  7. Medoff, Marshall H., 2003. "The impact of anti-abortion activities on state abortion rates," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 265-282, July.
  8. Philip J. Cook & Allan M. Parnell & Michael J. Moore & Deanna Pagnini, 1996. "The Effects of Short-Term Variation in Abortion Funding on Pregnancy Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 5843, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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