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Abortions and Inequality

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  • Georgi Kocharkov

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

Abstract

In the last three decades over a million abortions were performed annually in the United States. Recent empirical studies assess the impact of legalization of abortions on living conditions of children and argue that legalization of abortions provides better living conditions and human capital endowments to surviving children. This paper takes seriously the hypothesis that legalized abortion can improve the living conditions of children and hence alter their future labor market outcomes. The main question of the paper is what are the implications of abortions for long-term income inequality. A model of marriage, fertility, human capital transmission, contraception and abortion decisions is built to answer this question quantitatively. Inequality will be higher in a world without abortions. The main reason for this is the higher and more unequally distributed number of children across households. Children also receive less human capital.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Konstanz in its series Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz with number 2012-22.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: 08 Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1222

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Related research

Keywords: Fertility; Abortions; Contraception; Income Inequality; Family Formation; Intergenerational Mobility;

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  1. 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.
  2. V. Joseph Hotz & Robert A. Miller, 1992. "Conditional Choice Probabilities and the Estimation of Dynamic Models," Working Papers, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago 9202, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
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  4. Greenwood, J. & Guner, N. & Knkwles, J., 1999. "More on Marriage, Fertility, and the Distribution of Income," Papers, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics 9904, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  5. Haider, Steven J, 2001. "Earnings Instability and Earnings Inequality of Males in the United States: 1967-1991," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 799-836, October.
  6. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman & Susanne Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 15664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Diego Restuccia & Carlos Urrutia, 2002. "Intergenerational Persistence of Earnings: The Role of Early and College Education," Working Papers diegor-02-03, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  8. Mark Huggett & Gustavo Ventura & Amir Yaron, 2010. "Sources of Lifetime Inequality," Working Papers, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group 2011-020, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  9. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J., 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 2550, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  11. John J. Donohue & Steven D. Levitt, 2001. "The Impact Of Legalized Abortion On Crime," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 379-420, May.
  12. Pedro Mira & Jes�s M. Carro, 2006. "A dynamic model of contraceptive choice of Spanish couples," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(7), pages 955-980.
  13. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  14. Huggett, Mark & Ventura, Gustavo & Yaron, Amir, 2006. "Human capital and earnings distribution dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 265-290, March.
  15. S. Rao Aiyagari & Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2000. "On the State of the Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 213-244, April.
  16. Orazio Attanasio & Hamish Low & Virginia Sanchez-Marcos, 2008. "Explaining Changes in Female Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1517-52, September.
  17. Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1984. "An Estimable Dynamic Stochastic Model of Fertility and Child Mortality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(5), pages 852-74, October.
  18. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
  19. Amalia Miller, 2011. "The effects of motherhood timing on career path," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 1071-1100, July.
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