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The impact of emergency birth control on teen pregnancy and STIs


  • Girma, Sourafel
  • Paton, David


We use panel data from local authorities in England between 1998 and 2004 to examine the differential impact of increased access for teenagers to emergency birth control (EBC) at pharmacies on teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We estimate both difference-in-difference (DD) and the more robust difference-in-difference-in-differences (DDD) models. The DD estimates provide some evidence that pharmacy EBC schemes are associated with higher teenage conception rates, but this result is not upheld in the DDD models. In contrast both the DD and DDD models provide consistent evidence that pharmacy EBC schemes are associated with higher teenage STI rates.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:30:y:2011:i:2:p:373-380

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. 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, June.
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    6. Melissa S. Kearney & Phillip B. Levine, 2009. "Subsidized Contraception, Fertility, and Sexual Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 137-151, February.
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    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. Sourafel Girma & David Paton, 2006. "Matching estimates of the impact of over‐the‐counter emergency birth control on teenage pregnancy," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(9), pages 1021-1032, September.
    10. Thomas Stratmann, 2008. "Abortion Access and Risky Sex Among Teens: Parental Involvement Laws and Sexually Transmitted Diseases," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 2-21, May.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Should your government provide free emergency contraception to young girls?
      by Berk Ozler in Development Impact on 2013-01-28 12:11:52


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    Cited by:

    1. Paton, David & Wright, Liam, 2017. "The effect of spending cuts on teen pregnancy," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 135-146.
    2. Inna Cintina & Morgen S. Johansen, 2014. "The Effect of Plan B on Teen Abortions: Evidence From the 2006 FDA Ruling," Working Papers 2014-1, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa, revised Jun 2014.
    3. Andrew Beauchamp, 2016. "Abortion Costs, Separation, and Non-marital Childbearing," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 182-196, June.
    4. Inna Cintina, 2017. "Behind‐the‐Counter, but Over‐the‐Border? The Assessment of the Geographical Spillover Effects of Emergency Contraception on Abortions," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(10), pages 1249-1263, October.
    5. Inna Cintina & Morgen S. Johansen, 2015. "The Effect Of Plan B On Teen Abortions: Evidence From The 2006 Fda Ruling," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(3), pages 418-433, July.
    6. Kasey S. Buckles & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2018. "The Incidental Fertility Effects of School Condom Distribution Programs," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 37(3), pages 464-492, June.
    7. Girma, Sourafel & Paton, David, 2015. "Is education the best contraception: The case of teenage pregnancy in England?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 1-9.
    8. Dills, Angela K. & Grecu, Anca M., 2017. "Effects of state contraceptive insurance mandates," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 30-42.
    9. Martha J. Bailey & Jason M. Lindo, 2017. "Access and Use of Contraception and Its Effects on Women’s Outcomes in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 23465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Karen Mulligan, 2016. "Access to Emergency Contraception and its Impact on Fertility and Sexual Behavior," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 455-469, April.
    11. Christine Piette Durrance, 2013. "The Effects Of Increased Access To Emergency Contraception On Sexually Transmitted Disease And Abortion Rates," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(3), pages 1682-1695, July.
    12. Kearney, Melissa S. & Levine, Phillip B., 2015. "Investigating recent trends in the U.S. teen birth rate," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 15-29.
    13. Sourafel Girma & David Paton, 2013. "Does Parental Consent for Birth Control Affect Underage Pregnancy Rates? The Case of Texas," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(6), pages 2105-2128, December.
    14. David Paton & Stephen Bullivant & Juan Soto, 2020. "The impact of sex education mandates on teenage pregnancy: International evidence," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(7), pages 790-807, July.
    15. Melissa Schettini Kearney & Phillip B. Levine, 2012. "Explaining Recent Trends in the U.S. Teen Birth Rate," NBER Working Papers 17964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.


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