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Measurement Error, Legalized Abortion, and the Decline in Crime: A Response to Foote and Goetz

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  • John J. Donohue III
  • Steven D. Levitt

Abstract

We are grateful to Foote and Goetz for noting that the final table of Donohue and Levitt (Quarterly Journal of Economics, 116 (2001), 379–420) inadvertently omitted state-year interactions. Correcting our mistake does not alter the sign or statistical significance of our estimates, although it does reduce their magnitude. Using a more carefully constructed measure of abortion that better links birth cohorts to abortion exposure (by using abortion data by state of residence rather than of occurrence, by adjusting for cross-state mobility, and by more precisely estimating birth years from age of arrest data), we present new evidence that abortion legalization reduces crime through both a cohort-size and a selection effect.

Suggested Citation

  • John J. Donohue III & Steven D. Levitt, 2008. "Measurement Error, Legalized Abortion, and the Decline in Crime: A Response to Foote and Goetz," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 425-440.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:123:y:2008:i:1:p:425-440.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/qjec.2008.123.1.425
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    Cited by:

    1. Chudik, Alexander & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Yang, Jui-Chung, 2016. "Half-panel jackknife fixed effects estimation of panels with weakly exogenous regressor," Globalization Institute Working Papers 281, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    2. Nunley, John M. & Seals, Richard Alan & Zietz, Joachim, 2011. "Demographic change, macroeconomic conditions, and the murder rate: The case of the United States, 1934–2006," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 942-948.
    3. Wanchuan Lin & Juan Pantano, 2015. "The unintended: negative outcomes over the life cycle," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(2), pages 479-508, April.
    4. Ted Joyce, 2010. "Abortion and Crime: A Review," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Crime, chapter 18 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. repec:kap:atlecj:v:45:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11293-017-9547-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ciani, E & Fisher, P, 2013. "Dif-in-dif estimators of multiplicative treatment effects," Economics Discussion Papers 8973, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    7. François, Abel & Magni-Berton, Raul & Weill, Laurent, 2014. "Abortion and crime: Cross-country evidence from Europe," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 24-35.
    8. Alexandre Belloni & Victor Chernozhukov & Christian Hansen, 2014. "High-Dimensional Methods and Inference on Structural and Treatment Effects," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 29-50, Spring.
    9. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2011. "Econometric Estimates of Deterrence of the Death Penalty: Facts or Ideology?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 448-478, August.
    10. Alejandro Gaviria & Carlos Medina & Jorge Tamayo, 2010. "Assessing the Link between Adolescent Fertility and Urban Crime," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 006860, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    11. Annette N. Brown & Drew B. Cameron & Benjamin D. K. Wood, 2014. "Quality evidence for policymaking: I'll believe it when I see the replication," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 215-235, September.
    12. Angela K. Dills & Jeffrey A. Miron & Garrett Summers, 2010. "What Do Economists Know about Crime?," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America, pages 269-302 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. John M. Nunley & Richard Alan Seals & Joachim Zietz, 2010. "Demographic Change, Macroeconomic Conditions, and the Murder Rate: The Case of the United States, 1934 to 2006," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2010-04, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
    14. Carlisle E. Moody & Thomas B. Marvell, 2010. "On the Choice of Control Variables in the Crime Equation," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(5), pages 696-715, October.
    15. Whitaker, Stephan, 2011. "The impact of legalized abortion on high school graduation through selection and composition," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 228-246, April.
    16. Theodore J. Joyce, 2009. "Abortion and Crime: A Review," NBER Working Papers 15098, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Guilhem Bascle, 2008. "Controlling for endogeneity with instrumental variables in strategic management research," Post-Print hal-00576795, HAL.
    18. Michał Brzeziński & Maria Halber, 2012. "Testing the Perturbation Sensitivity of Abortion-Crime Regressions," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 6(2), June.
    19. Serkan Ozbeklik, 2014. "The Effect Of Abortion Legalization On Childbearing By Unwed Teenagers In Future Cohorts," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(1), pages 100-115, January.
    20. Durlauf, Steven N. & Navarro, Salvador & Rivers, David A., 2010. "Understanding aggregate crime regressions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 158(2), pages 306-317, October.
    21. O’Flaherty, Brendan & Sethi, Rajiv, 2015. "Urban Crime," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.

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