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Abortion Legalization and Life-Cycle Fertility

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  • Elizabeth Oltmans Ananat
  • Jonathan Gruber
  • Phillip Levine

Abstract

The early-1970s abortion legalization led to a significant drop in fertility. We investigate whether this decline represented a delay in births or a permanent reduction in fertility. We combine Census and Vital Statistics data to compare the lifetime fertility of women born in early-legalizing states, whose peak childbearing years occurred in the early 1970s, to that of women from other states and cohorts. We find that much of the reduction was permanent, in that women did not compensate by having more children later, and that it largely reflects an increased share of women remaining childless throughout their fertile years.

Suggested Citation

  • Elizabeth Oltmans Ananat & Jonathan Gruber & Phillip Levine, 2007. "Abortion Legalization and Life-Cycle Fertility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(2).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:42:y:2007:i2:p375-397
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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