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The Effects of Short-Term Variation in Abortion Funding on Pregnancy Outcomes

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  • Philip J. Cook
  • Allan M. Parnell
  • Michael J. Moore
  • Deanna Pagnini

Abstract

In 1978 North Carolina created a special fund to pay for abortions for indigent women. The appropriations for that fund have proven inadequate during five of the years in which it has been in operation, with the result in each case that no state funding was available for several months. This on-again, off-again funding pattern provides a natural experiment for" estimating the short-run effect of changes in the cost of abortions on the number of abortions (and births) to indigent women. We utilize a unique dataset obtained from the State, which includes individual records for all pregnancies terminated in the State since 1978. We estimate the effects of funding termination on the abortion rate per month, the birth rate per month (adjusted to take account of variations in gestation periods), and the probability that a pregnancy will end in abortion, for various demographic groups. The results suggest that the decisions of poor black women aged 18-29 are particularly sensitive to the availability of abortion funding. Overall, approximately 3 in every 10 pregnancies that would have resulted in an abortion, had state funds been available, are instead carried to term.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5843.

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Date of creation: Nov 1996
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Publication status: published as Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 18, no. 2 (1999): 241-258.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5843

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  1. Theodore Joyce & Michael Grossman, 1990. "Pregnancy wantedness and the early initiation of prenatal care," Demography, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 1-17, February.
  2. Matthews, S. & Ribar, D. & Wilhelm, M., 1995. "The Effects of Economic Conditions and Access to Reproductive Health Services on State Abortion and Birth Rates," Papers 4-95-15, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  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. Janet Currie & Lucia Nixon & Nancy Cole, 1996. "Restrictions on Medicaid Funding of Abortion: Effects on Birth Weight and Pregnancy Resolutions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 159-188.
  6. 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.
  7. Theodore Joyce & Robert Kaestner, 1996. "The effect of expansions in medicaid income eligibility on abortion," Demography, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 181-192, May.
  8. Levine, P.B. & Trainor, A.B. & Zimmerman, D.J., 1995. "The Effect of Medicaid Abortion Funding Restrictions on Abortions, Pregnancies, Birth," Papers 95-08, Wellesley College - Department of Economics.
  9. Phillip B. Levine & Amy B. Trainor & David J. Zimmerman, 1995. "The Effect of Medicaid Abortion Funding Restrictions on Abortions, Pregnancies, and Births," NBER Working Papers 5066, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L & Katz, Michael L, 1996. "An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 277-317, May.
  11. Deborah Haas-Wilson, 1996. "The Impact of State Abortion Restrictions on Minors' Demand for Abortions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 140-158.
  12. Rebecca M. Blank & Christine C. George & Rebecca A. London, 1994. "State Abortion Rates: The Impact of Policies, Providers, Politics, Demographics, and Economic Environment," NBER Working Papers 4853, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Klerman, J.A. & Jackson, C.A., 1993. "Fixed Effects,Public Policy and Teenage Fertility," Papers 93-24, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
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Cited by:
  1. Phillip B. Levine & Douglas Staiger, 2002. "Abortion as Insurance," NBER Working Papers 8813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Theodore J. Joyce & Ruoding Tan & Yuxiu Zhang, 2012. "Back to the Future? Abortion Before & After Roe," NBER Working Papers 18338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bitler, Marianne & Zavodny, Madeline, 2001. "The effect of abortion restrictions on the timing of abortions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 1011-1032, November.
  4. Inna Cintina, 2013. "Behind-the-counter, but Over-the-border? The Assessment of the Geographical Spillover Effect of Increased Access to Emergency Contraception," Working Papers 201319, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  5. Ted Joyce & Robert Kaestner & Sanders Korenman & Stanley Henshaw, 2004. "Family Cap Provisions and Changes in Births and Abortions," NBER Working Papers 10214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Paton, David, 2002. "The economics of family planning and underage conceptions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 207-225, March.
  7. Silvie Colman & Theodore J. Joyce, 2010. "Regulating Abortion: Impact on Patients and Providers in Texas," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 6548, Mathematica Policy Research.
  8. 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.
  9. Inna Cintina, 2013. "Behind-the-counter, but Over-the-border? The Assessment of the Spillover Effect of Increased Availability of Emergency Contraception in Washington on Neighboring States," Working Papers 201308, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. repec:hae:wpaper:2013-6 is not listed on IDEAS

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