Does Increased Abortion Lead to Reduced Crime? Evaluating the Relationship between Crime, Abortion, and Fertility
AbstractDonohue and Levitt (2001) attribute over half the current decline in U.S. crime rates to the legalization of abortion. I contribute to the literature by using provincial Canadian data, which permits the segregation of trends in teenage abortions from general abortion rates. This distinction is important, as I find that a much larger drop in violent crime (almost half) during the nineteen-nineties, is attributable to the increase in teenage abortions due to abortion legalization. In contrast, the fall in general abortion rates accounts for a quarter of the decline. Hence, falling crime rates are largely attributable to abortion legalization resulting in better timing of births, rather than lower cohort size. Further, I find that the drop in teenage fertility rates during the nineteen-sixties and seventies, accounts for the entire fall in violent crime. This is probably in part, due to the increase in contraception sophistication (the pill) witnessed during that era.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Waterloo, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 02004.
Date of creation: Jan 2002
Date of revision: Jan 2002
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- Hunt, Jennifer, 2003.
"Teen Births Keep American Crime High,"
IZA Discussion Papers
757, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Hunt, Jennifer, 2003. "Teen Births Keep American Crime High," CEPR Discussion Papers 3906, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Jennifer Hunt, 2003. "Teen Births Keep American Crime High," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 343, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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- John J. Donohue III & Steven D. Levitt, 2003.
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NBER Working Papers
9532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John J. Donohue, III & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "Further Evidence that Legalized Abortion Lowered Crime: A Reply to Joyce," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
- Theodore J. Joyce, 2009. "Abortion and Crime: A Review," NBER Working Papers 15098, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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