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A Preliminary Investigation of The Effects of Restrictions on Medicaid Funding for Abortions on Female STD Rates

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  • Sen, Bisakha

Abstract

There is evidence in the economic literature that restrictions on Medicaid funding for abortion reduces the demand for abortion. The unresolved question is whether such restrictions also increase safe sex (that is, pregnancy avoidance) behavior among women. This study explores that issue using state-level gonorrhea rates among women for 1975-95. The rationale is that sexual behavior that leads to greater risk of accidental pregnancies is likely to be highly correlated with sexual behavior leading to greater risk of STD infection. Since gonorrhea has an incubation period of about a week, and is transmitted almost exclusively through sexual intercourse, a change in sexual behavior should soon be followed by a change in gonorrhea rates. The study used a partial adjustment model with lagged dependent variables estimated using Arellano-Bond’s GMM method. Results fail to find any statistically significant evidence that Medicaid funding restrictions are effective in reducing gonorrhea rates. This finding is robust to a variety of alternate specifications and tests. This suggests that restrictions on Medicaid funding for abortion fail to promote safe sex behavior among women.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 1074.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Publication status: Published in Health Economics 3.12(2003): pp. 453-464
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:1074

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Keywords: STD; Medicaid Restrictions; Abortion; Women;

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References

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  1. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  2. Lundberg, S. & Plotnick, R.D., 1994. "Adolescent Premarital Childbearing: Do Economic Incentives Matters?," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 94-4, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  3. Blank, Rebecca M. & George, Christine C. & London, Rebecca A., 1996. "State abortion rates the impact of policies, providers, politics, demographics, and economic environment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 513-553, October.
  4. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  5. 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.
  6. Currie, J. & Nixon, L. & Cole, N., 1995. "Restriction on Medicaid Funding of Abortion: Effects on Birth Weight and Pregnancy Resolution," Papers 95-02, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  7. 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.
  8. Phillip B. Levine, 2000. "The Sexual Activity and Birth Control Use of American Teenagers," NBER Working Papers 7601, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Janet Currie & Lucia Nixon & Nancy Cole, 1993. "Restrictions on Medicaid Funding of Abortion: Effects on Pregnancy Resolutions and Birth Weight," NBER Working Papers 4432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Chesson, Harrell & Harrison, Paul & Kassler, William J, 2000. "Sex Under the Influence: The Effect of Alcohol Policy on Sexually Transmitted Disease Rates in the United States," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 215-38, April.
  14. Kiviet, Jan F., 1995. "On bias, inconsistency, and efficiency of various estimators in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Sen, Bisakha & Wingate, Martha Slay & Kirby, Russell, 2012. "The relationship between state abortion-restrictions and homicide deaths among children under 5 years of age: A longitudinal study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 156-164.
  2. Girma, Sourafel & Paton, David, 2011. "The impact of emergency birth control on teen pregnancy and STIs," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 373-380, March.
  3. J. Bradford Rice & Judith D. Kasper & Liliana E. Pezzin, 2009. "A comparative analysis of Medicaid long-term care policies and their effects on elderly dual enrollees," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(3), pages 275-290.

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