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Restrictions on Medicaid Funding of Abortion: Effects on Pregnancy Resolutions and Birth Weight

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  • Janet Currie
  • Lucia Nixon
  • Nancy Cole

Abstract

Previous research suggests that restricting the availability of abortion reduces average birth weight by increasing the number of unhealthy fetuses that are carried to term. In this paper we use data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to ask whether restrictions on Medicaid funding of abortion have this effect. We attempt to account for the potential endogeneity of abortion laws by comparing the effects of liberal statutes to those of court injunctions ordering states to fund abortion. Our results suggest that restrictions do increase the probability that African-American and low income women carry a pregnancy to term, but that they have no direct effect on birth weight. In contrast, community-level measures of the availability of abortion, contraception, and prenatal care do affect birth weight among African-Americans but not among whites.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4432.

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Date of creation: Aug 1993
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Publication status: published as Journal of Human Resources (Winter 1996).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4432

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  1. Mark R. Rosenzweig & T. Paul Schultz, 1988. "The Stability of Household Production Technology: A Replication," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 535-549.
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  3. Michael Grossman & Steven Jacobowitz, 1981. "Variations in infant mortality rates among counties of the United States: The roles of public policies and programs," Demography, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 695-713, November.
  4. Michael Grossman & Steven Jacobowitz, 1981. "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.
  5. Willis, Robert J, 1973. "A New Approach to the Economic Theory of Fertility Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S14-64, Part II, .
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  7. Hope Corman & Theodore J. Joyce & Michael Grossman, 1987. "Birth Outcome Production Function in the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(3), pages 339-360.
  8. Elizabeth Cooksey, 1990. "Factors in the Resolution of Adolescent Premarital Pregnancies," Demography, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 207-218, May.
  9. Theodore Joyce, 1987. "The impact of induced abortion on black and white birth outcomes in the United States," Demography, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 229-244, May.
  10. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
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  12. Hope Corman & Theodore J. Joyce & Michael Grossman, 1985. "Birth Outcome Production Functions in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 1729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  14. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  15. Mark R. Rosenzweig & T. Paul Schultz, 1982. "The Behavior of Mothers as Inputs to Child Health: The Determinants of Birth Weight, Gestation, and Rate of Fetal Growth," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 53-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Janet Currie & Jeffrey Grogger, 2000. "Medicaid Expansions and Welfare Contractions: Offsetting Effects on Prenatal Care and Infant Health?," NBER Working Papers 7667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bisakha Sen, 2003. "A preliminary investigation of the effects of restrictions on Medicaid funding for abortions on female STD rates," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(6), pages 453-464.
  3. Phillip B. Levine, 2002. "The Impact of Social Policy and Economic Activity Throughout the Fertility Decision Tree," NBER Working Papers 9021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Joshua D. Angrist & William N. Evans, 1996. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of the 1970 State Abortion Reforms," NBER Working Papers 5406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Phillip B. Levine & Douglas Staiger, 2002. "Abortion as Insurance," NBER Working Papers 8813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Joyce, Theodore & Kaestner, Robert, 1996. "State reproductive policies and adolescent pregnancy resolution: The case of parental involvement laws," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 579-607, October.
  9. Levine, Phillip B. & Trainor, Amy B. & Zimmerman, David J., 1996. "The effect of Medicaid abortion funding restrictions on abortions, pregnancies and births," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 555-578, October.

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