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Teen Motherhood and Abortion Access

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  • Thomas J. Kane
  • Douglas Staiger

Abstract

We investigate the effect of abortion access on teen birthrates using county-level panel data. Past research suggested that prohibiting abortion led to higher teen birthrates. Perhaps surprisingly, we find that more recent restrictions in abortion access, including the closing of abortion clinics and restrictions on Medicaid funding, had the opposite effect. Small declines in access were related to small declines among in-wedlock births; out-of-wedlock births were relatively unaffected. Both results are consistent with a simple model in which pregnancy is endogenous and women gain new information about the attractiveness of parenthood only after becoming pregnant.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas J. Kane & Douglas Staiger, 1996. "Teen Motherhood and Abortion Access," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 467-506.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:2:p:467-506.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2307/2946685
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