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Still Waiting for Mister Right? Asymmetric Information, Abortion Laws and the Timing of Marriage

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Author Info

  • Bowmaker, Simon W.

    ()
    (New York University)

  • Emerson, Patrick M.

    ()
    (Oregon State University)

Abstract

Previous studies have suggested that more liberal abortion laws should lead to a decrease in marriage rates among young women as 'shotgun weddings' are no longer necessary. Empirical evidence from the United States lends support to that hypothesis. This paper presents an alternative theory of abortion access and marriage based on asymmetric information, which suggests that more liberal abortion laws may actually promote young marriage. An empirical examination of marriage data from Eastern Europe shows that countries that liberalized their abortion laws saw an increase in marriage rates among non-teenage women.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4176.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Applied Economics, 2013, 45 (22), 3151-3169
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4176

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Related research

Keywords: marriage asymmetric information; abortion;

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References

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  1. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2002. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 730-770, August.
  2. Phillip B. Levine, 2000. "The Sexual Activity and Birth Control Use of American Teenagers," NBER Working Papers 7601, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Henriette Engelhardt & Heike Trappe & Jaap Dronkers, 2002. "Differences in family policy and the intergenerational transmission of divorce: a comparison between the former East and West Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-008, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  4. 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.
  5. John Donohue & Steven Levitt, 2000. "The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime," NBER Working Papers 8004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Pierre-André Chiappori & Sonia Oreffice, 2008. "Birth Control and Female Empowerment: An Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(1), pages 113-140, 02.
  7. Levine, Phillip B & Staiger, Douglas, 2004. "Abortion Policy and Fertility Outcomes: The Eastern European Experience," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(1), pages 223-43, April.
  8. Eugene Choo & Aloysius Siow, 2006. "Who Marries Whom and Why," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 175-201, February.
  9. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:75-113 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Henriette Engelhardt & Heike Trappe & Jaap Dronkers, 2002. "Differences in Family Policies and the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 6(11), pages 295-324, May.
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