IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/plo/pone00/0248638.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The long-term impact of restricted access to abortion on children’s socioeconomic outcomes

Author

Listed:
  • Gábor Hajdu
  • Tamás Hajdu

Abstract

We examine the long-term consequences of restricted access to abortion following a change in the Hungarian abortion law in 1974. Due to a change that restricted access to legal abortions, the number of induced abortions decreased from 169,650 to 102,022 between 1973 and 1974, whereas the number of live births increased from 156,224 to 186,288. We analyze the effects on the adult outcomes of the affected cohort of newborns (educational attainment, labor market participation, teen fertility). We use matched large-scale, individual-level administrative datasets of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (population census 2011; live birth register), and we estimate the effects by comparing children born within a short timespan around the time the law change came into effect. We apply a difference-in-differences approach, building on the special rules of the new law that, despite the severe restriction, still made abortion permissible for selected groups of women. We control for the compositional change in the population of parents, rule out the effect of (unobserved) time trends and other potential behavioral responses to the law change, and draw causal inferences. We find that restricted access to abortion had, on average, a negative impact on the socioeconomic outcomes of the affected cohort of children. Children born after the law change have had worse educational outcomes, a greater likelihood of being unemployed at age 37, and a higher probability of being a teen parent.

Suggested Citation

  • Gábor Hajdu & Tamás Hajdu, 2021. "The long-term impact of restricted access to abortion on children’s socioeconomic outcomes," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(3), pages 1-14, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:plo:pone00:0248638
    DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0248638
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0248638
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0248638&type=printable
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1371/journal.pone.0248638?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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 223-243, April.
    2. 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.
    3. Fischer, Stefanie & Royer, Heather & White, Corey, 2018. "The impacts of reduced access to abortion and family planning services on abortions, births, and contraceptive purchases," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 43-68.
    4. Hjalmarsson, Randi & Mitrut, Andreea & Pop-Eleches, Cristian, 2019. "The Impact of Abortion on Crime and Crime-Related Behavior," CEPR Discussion Papers 13800, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Gary S. Becker & H. Gregg Lewis, 1974. "Interaction between Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 81-90, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2007. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 409-439.
    7. Kasey S. Buckles & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2013. "Season of Birth and Later Outcomes: Old Questions, New Answers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 711-724, July.
    8. Ted Joyce, 2004. "Did Legalized Abortion Lower Crime?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
    9. 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.
    10. Janet Currie, 2009. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Socioeconomic Status, Poor Health in Childhood, and Human Capital Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 87-122, March.
    11. Caitlin Knowles Myers, 2017. "The Power of Abortion Policy: Reexamining the Effects of Young Women’s Access to Reproductive Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(6), pages 2178-2224.
    12. Theodore Joyce, 1987. "The impact of induced abortion on black and white birth outcomes in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 24(2), pages 229-244, May.
    13. Michael Grossman & Steven Jacobowitz, 1981. "Variations in infant mortality rates among counties of the United States: The roles of public policies and programs," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 18(4), pages 695-713, November.
    14. John J. Donohue III & Steven D. Levitt, 2001. "The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 379-420.
    15. 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.
    16. Sarah Miller & Laura R. Wherry & Diana Greene Foster, 2020. "The Economic Consequences of Being Denied an Abortion," NBER Working Papers 26662, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Martha Bailey & Olga Malkova & Zoë M. McLaren, 2017. "Does Parents' Access to Family Planning Increase Children's Opportunities? Evidence from the War on Poverty and the Early Years of Title X," Working Papers 2017-083, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    18. Vegard Skirbekk & Hans-Peter Kohler & Alexia Prskawetz, 2004. "Birth month, school graduation, and the timing of births and marriages," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(3), pages 547-568, August.
    19. Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2010. "The Supply of Birth Control Methods, Education, and Fertility: Evidence from Romania," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(4), pages 971-997.
    20. Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2006. "The Impact of an Abortion Ban on Socioeconomic Outcomes of Children: Evidence from Romania," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 744-773, August.
    21. Martha J. Bailey & Olga Malkova & Zoë M. McLaren, 2019. "Does Access to Family Planning Increase Children’s Opportunities?: Evidence from the War on Poverty and the Early Years of Title X," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(4), pages 825-856.
    22. Jonathan Gruber & Phillip Levine & Douglas Staiger, 1999. "Abortion Legalization and Child Living Circumstances: Who is the "Marginal Child"?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 263-291.
    23. José‐Ignacio Antón & Zuleika Ferre & Patricia Triunfo, 2018. "The impact of the legalisation of abortion on birth outcomes in Uruguay," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(7), pages 1103-1119, July.
    24. 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.
    25. Jason M. Lindo & Caitlin Knowles Myers & Andrea Schlosser & Scott Cunningham, 2020. "How Far Is Too Far? New Evidence on Abortion Clinic Closures, Access, and Abortions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 55(4), pages 1137-1160.
    26. Joanna Venator & Jason Fletcher, 2019. "Undue Burden Beyond Texas: An Analysis of Abortion Clinic Closures, Births, And Abortions in Wisconsin," NBER Working Papers 26362, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Melanie Guldi, 2008. "Fertility effects of abortion and birth control pill access for minors," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 45(4), pages 817-827, November.
    28. repec:ucn:wpaper:10197/317 is not listed on IDEAS
    29. 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.
    30. John J. Donohue & Jeffrey Grogger & Steven D. Levitt, 2009. "The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Teen Childbearing," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 24-46.
    31. Christopher L. Foote & Christopher F. Goetz, 2008. "The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime: Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 407-423.
    32. John J. Donohue & Steven D. Levitt, 2019. "The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime over the Last Two Decades," NBER Working Papers 25863, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. 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.
    2. José-Ignacio Antón & Zuleika Ferre & Patricia Triunfo, 2016. "The impact of abortion legalisation on birth outcomes in Uruguay," Economics working papers 2016-06, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    3. Clarke, Damian & Mühlrad, Hanna, 2021. "Abortion laws and women’s health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    4. José‐Ignacio Antón & Zuleika Ferre & Patricia Triunfo, 2018. "The impact of the legalisation of abortion on birth outcomes in Uruguay," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(7), pages 1103-1119, July.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Sarah Miller & Laura R. Wherry & Diana Greene Foster, 2020. "The Economic Consequences of Being Denied an Abortion," NBER Working Papers 26662, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Wanchuan Lin & Juan Pantano & Shuqiao Sun, 2020. "Birth order and unwanted fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(2), pages 413-440, April.
    9. Libertad González & Sergi Jiménez-Martín & Natalia Nollenberger & Judit Vall Castello, 2018. "The Effect of Abortion Legalization on Fertility, Marriage and Long-term Outcomes for Women," Studies on the Spanish Economy eee2018-08, FEDEA.
    10. Mølland, Eirin, 2016. "Benefits from delay? The effect of abortion availability on young women and their children," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 6-28.
    11. Damian Clarke, 2018. "Children And Their Parents: A Review Of Fertility And Causality," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 518-540, April.
    12. 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.
    13. Martha Bailey & Olga Malkova & Zoë M. McLaren, 2017. "Does Parents' Access to Family Planning Increase Children's Opportunities? Evidence from the War on Poverty and the Early Years of Title X," Working Papers 2017-083, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    14. Hjalmarsson, Randi & Mitrut, Andreea & Pop-Eleches, Cristian, 2019. "The Impact of Abortion on Crime and Crime-Related Behavior," CEPR Discussion Papers 13800, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Ted Joyce, 2010. "Abortion and Crime: A Review," Chapters, in: Bruce L. Benson & Paul R. Zimmerman (ed.), Handbook on the Economics of Crime, chapter 18, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    16. Arnaud Chevalier & Olivier Marie, 2019. "Risky Moms, Risky Kids? Fertility And Crime After The Fall Of The Wall," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 19-087/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    17. 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.
    18. John J. Donohue & Steven D. Levitt, 2019. "The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime over the Last Two Decades," NBER Working Papers 25863, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Arnaud Chevalier & Olivier Marie, 2013. "Economic Uncertainty, Parental Selection, and the Criminal Activity of the "Children of the Wall"," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 605, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    20. Lena Janys & Bettina Siflinger, 2021. "Mental Health and Abortions among Young Women: Time-varying Unobserved Heterogeneity, Health Behaviors, and Risky Decisions," Papers 2103.12159, arXiv.org, revised Apr 2021.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:plo:pone00:0248638. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: plosone (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.