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Frequency Of Sexual Activity Among Unmarried Adolescent Girls: Do State Policies Pertaining To Abortion Access Matter?

  • Bisakha Sen


    (Department of Economics, University of Alabama at Birmingham)

While considerable research exists on whether abortion restrictions affect adolescents’ demand for abortions, less work has been done about whether such restrictions deter pregnancy-risk behavior among adolescents. This paper uses data from the first round of the NLSY97 to investigate the effects of two abortion restrictions -- unavailability of Medicaid funding and laws requiring parental involvement -- on the frequency of sexual activity among (unmarried) adolescent girls. Results from zero-inflated negative binomial models indicate that neither restriction has significant effects on the frequency of sexual activity per se or on the frequency of non-contracepted sexual activity.

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Article provided by Eastern Economic Association in its journal Eastern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 32 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
Pages: 313-330

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Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:32:y:2006:i:2:p:313-330
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  1. 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.
  2. Deborah Haas-Wilson, 1996. "The Impact of State Abortion Restrictions on Minors' Demand for Abortions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 140-158.
  3. 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.
  4. Lundberg, S. & Plotnick, R.D., 1994. "Adolescent Premarital Childbearing: Do Economic Incentives Matters?," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 94-4, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  5. Levine, Phillip B. & Trainor, Amy B. & Zimmerman, David J., 1996. "The effect of Medicaid abortion funding restrictions on abortions, pregnancies and births," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 555-578, October.
  6. Levine, Phillip B., 2003. "Parental involvement laws and fertility behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 861-878, September.
  7. Schultz, T.P., 1993. "Marital Status and Fertility in the United States: Welfare and Labor Market Effects," Papers 703, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  8. Joyce, Theodore & Kaestner, Robert, 1996. "State reproductive policies and adolescent pregnancy resolution: The case of parental involvement laws," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 579-607, October.
  9. 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.
  10. Rees, Daniel I. & Argys, Laura M. & Averett, Susan L., 2001. "New evidence on the relationship between substance use and adolescent sexual behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 835-845, September.
  11. Sen, Bisakha, 2002. "Does alcohol-use increase the risk of sexual intercourse among adolescents? Evidence from the NLSY97," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 1085-1093, November.
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