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Abortion and Female Labor Force Participation: Evidence Prior to Roe v. Wade




From 1969 through 1972, and therefore prior to Roe v. Wade, several states legalized abortion. I examine whether the liberalization of state abortion laws affects female labor force participation using data from the March Current Population Survey (CPS) and estimate several probit participation equations. Results indicate that abortion, by reducing unwanted pregnancies and hence fertility rates, has increased the labor force participation rates of females, especially of single black women.

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  • David E. Kalist, 2004. "Abortion and Female Labor Force Participation: Evidence Prior to Roe v. Wade," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(3), pages 503-514, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:tra:jlabre:v:25:y:2004:i:3:p:503-514

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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Cebula & Christopher Coombs, 2008. "Recent Evidence on Factors Influencing the Female Labor Force Participation Rate," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 272-284, September.
    2. Finlay, Jocelyn E., 2021. "Women’s reproductive health and economic activity: A narrative review," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
    3. Strenio, Jacqueline & van der Meulen Rodgers, Yana, 2023. "Integrating Gender into a Labor Economics Class," IZA Discussion Papers 15886, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Gonzalez, Fidel & Quast, Troy, 2022. "The relationship between abortion rates and economic fluctuations," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 46(C).
    5. Matias Busso & Dario Romero Fonseca, 2015. "Female Labor Force Participation in Latin America: Patterns and Explanations," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0187, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    6. Kristine Husøy Onarheim & Johanne Helene Iversen & David E Bloom, 2016. "Economic Benefits of Investing in Women’s Health: A Systematic Review," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 11(3), pages 1-23, March.
    7. Caterina Muratori, 2021. "The Impact of Abortion Access on Violence Against Women," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2021-03, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    8. Farin, Sherajum Monira & Hoehn-Velasco, Lauren & Pesko, Michael, 2022. "The Impact of Legal Abortion on Maternal Mortality," IZA Discussion Papers 15657, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Richard J. Cebula & Gigi M. Alexander, 2018. "Is there an impact of labor market freedom on the elderly female labor force participation rate in the U.S.? An exploratory study," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 38(1), pages 30-40.
    10. Zandberg, Jonathan, 2021. "Family comes first: Reproductive health and the gender gap in entrepreneurship," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(3), pages 838-864.
    11. Myers, Caitlin Knowles, 2021. "Measuring the Burden: The Effect of Travel Distance on Abortions and Births," IZA Discussion Papers 14556, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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