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The impact of legalized abortion on child health outcomes and abandonment. Evidence from Romania

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  • Mitrut, Andreea
  • Wolff, François-Charles

Abstract

We use household survey data and a unique census of institutionalized children to analyze the impact of abortion legalization in Romania. We exploit the lift of the abortion ban in December 1989, when communist dictator Ceausescu and his regime were removed from power, to understand its impact on children's health at birth and during early childhood and whether the lift of the ban had an immediate impact on child abandonment. We find insignificant estimates for health at birth outcomes and anthropometric z-scores at age 4 and 5, except for the probability of low birth weight which is slightly higher for children born after abortion became legal. Additionally, our findings suggest that the lift of the ban had decreased the number of abandoned children.

Suggested Citation

  • Mitrut, Andreea & Wolff, François-Charles, 2011. "The impact of legalized abortion on child health outcomes and abandonment. Evidence from Romania," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1219-1231.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:30:y:2011:i:6:p:1219-1231
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2011.08.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Valente, Christine, 2014. "Access to abortion, investments in neonatal health, and sex-selection: Evidence from Nepal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 225-243.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Abortion; Health; Anthropometric outcomes; Child abandonment; Romania;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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