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Do parental involvement laws deter risky teen sex?

  • Colman, Silvie
  • Dee, Thomas S.
  • Joyce, Ted

Parental involvement (PI) laws require that physicians notify or obtain consent from a parent(s) of a minor seeking an abortion before performing the procedure. Several studies suggest that PI laws curb risky sexual behavior because teens realize that they would be compelled to discuss a subsequent pregnancy with a parent. We show that prior evidence based on gonorrhea rates overlooked the frequent under-reporting of gonorrhea by race and ethnicity, and present new evidence on the effects of PI laws using more current data on the prevalence of gonorrhea and data that are novel to this literature (i.e., chlamydia rates and data disaggregated by year of age). We improve the credibility of our estimates over those in the existing literature using an event-study design in addition to standard difference-in-difference-in-differences (DDD) models. Our findings consistently suggest no association between PI laws and rates of sexually transmitted infections or measures of sexual behavior.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 32 (2013)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 873-880

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:32:y:2013:i:5:p:873-880
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  1. Colman, Silvie & Dee, Thomas S. & Joyce, Ted, 2013. "Do parental involvement laws deter risky teen sex?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 873-880.
  2. 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.
  3. Phillip B. Levine, 2001. "The Sexual Activity and Birth-Control Use of American Teenagers," NBER Chapters, in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 167-218 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Theodore Joyce & Robert Kaestner, 1995. "State Reproductive Policies and Adolescent Pregnancy Resolution: The Case of Parental Involvement Laws," NBER Working Papers 5354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Merz, J.F. & Jackson, C.A. & Klerman, J.A., 1995. "A Review of Abortion Policy: Legality, Medicaid Funding and Parental Involvement, 1967-1994," Papers 95-14, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  6. Robert L. Ohsfeldt & Stephan F. Gohmann, 1994. "Do Parental Involvement Laws Reduce Adolescent Abortion Rates?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(2), pages 65-76, 04.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 223-43, April.
  9. Levine, Phillip B., 2003. "Parental involvement laws and fertility behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 861-878, September.
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