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The effects of short-term variation in abortion funding on pregnancy outcomes

Author

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

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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Suggested Citation

  • Cook, Philip J. & Parnell, Allan M. & Moore, Michael J. & Pagnini, Deanna, 1999. "The effects of short-term variation in abortion funding on pregnancy outcomes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 241-257, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:18:y:1999:i:2:p:241-257
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Theodore Joyce & Robert Kaestner, 1996. "The effect of expansions in medicaid income eligibility on abortion," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 33(2), pages 181-192, May.
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    6. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen & Michael L. Katz, 1996. "An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 277-317.
    7. 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.
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    10. 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 7-95-4, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Diego Amador, 2017. "The Consequences of Abortion and Contraception Policies on Young Women’s Reproductive Choices, Schooling and Labor Supply," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 015635, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Silvie Colman & Theodore J. Joyce, 2010. "Regulating Abortion: Impact on Patients and Providers in Texas," Mathematica Policy Research Reports db01943e8d23431ca26fe3eaf, Mathematica Policy Research.
    6. Silvie Colman & Ted Joyce, 2011. "Regulating abortion: Impact on patients and providers in Texas," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(4), pages 775-797, September.
    7. 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.
    8. Paton, David, 2002. "The economics of family planning and underage conceptions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 207-225, March.
    9. Levine, Phillip B & Staiger, Douglas, 2004. "Abortion Policy and Fertility Outcomes: The Eastern European Experience," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(1), pages 223-243, April.
    10. repec:hae:wpaper:2013-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. 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.
    12. José-Ignacio Antón & Zuleika Ferre & Patricia Triunfo, 2016. "The impact of abortion legalisation on birth outcomes in Uruguay," Economics working papers 2016-06, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    13. Phillip B. Levine & Douglas Staiger, 2002. "Abortion as Insurance," NBER Working Papers 8813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Serkan Ozbeklik, 2014. "The Effect Of Abortion Legalization On Childbearing By Unwed Teenagers In Future Cohorts," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(1), pages 100-115, January.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. repec:mpr:mprres:6548 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. 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.

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    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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