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A preliminary investigation of the effects of restrictions on Medicaid funding for abortions on female STD rates

  • Bisakha Sen

    (Department of Healthcare Organization and Policy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA)

There is evidence in the economics literature that restrictions on Medicaid funding for abortion reduces the demand for abortion. The unresolved question is whether such restrictions also increase safe sex (that is, pregnancy avoidance) behavior among women. This study explores that issue using state-level gonorrhea rates among women for 1975-1995. The rationale is that sexual behavior that leads to greater risk of accidental pregnancies is likely to be highly correlated with sexual behavior leading to greater risk of STD infection. Since gonorrhea has an incubation period of about a week, and is transmitted almost exclusively through sexual intercourse, a change in sexual behavior should soon be followed by a change in gonorrhea rates. The study used a partial adjustment model with lagged-dependent variables estimated using Arellano-Bond's GMM method. Results fail to find any statistically significant evidence that Medicaid funding restrictions are effective in reducing gonorrhea rates. This finding is robust to a variety of alternate specifications and tests. This suggests that restrictions on Medicaid funding for abortion fail to promote safe sex behavior among women. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.740
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 12 (2003)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 453-464

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:12:y:2003:i:6:p:453-464
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. Matthews, S. & Ribar, D. & Wilhelm, M., 1995. "The Effects of Economic Conditions and Access to Reproductive Health Services on State Abortion and Birth Rates," Papers 7-95-4, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  2. Lundberg, Shelly & Plotnick, Robert D, 1995. "Adolescent Premarital Childbearing: Do Economic Incentives Matter?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 177-200, April.
  3. Philip J. Cook & Allan M. Parnell & Michael J. Moore & Deanna Pagnini, 1996. "The Effects of Short-Term Variation in Abortion Funding on Pregnancy Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 5843, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Phillip B. Levine, 2000. "The Sexual Activity and Birth Control Use of American Teenagers," NBER Working Papers 7601, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Currie, J. & Nixon, L. & Cole, N., 1995. "Restriction on Medicaid Funding of Abortion: Effects on Birth Weight and Pregnancy Resolution," Papers 95-02, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  7. Janet Currie & Lucia Nixon & Nancy Cole, 1993. "Restrictions on Medicaid Funding of Abortion: Effects on Pregnancy Resolutions and Birth Weight," NBER Working Papers 4432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Rebecca M. Blank & Christine C. George & Rebecca A. London, 1994. "State Abortion Rates: The Impact of Policies, Providers, Politics, Demographics, and Economic Environment," NBER Working Papers 4853, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Kiviet, Jan F., 1995. "On bias, inconsistency, and efficiency of various estimators in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, July.
  10. Deborah Haas-Wilson, 1996. "The Impact of State Abortion Restrictions on Minors' Demand for Abortions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 140-158.
  11. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  12. Kane, Thomas J & Staiger, Douglas, 1996. "Teen Motherhood and Abortion Access," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 467-506, May.
  13. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  14. Chesson, Harrell & Harrison, Paul & Kassler, William J, 2000. "Sex Under the Influence: The Effect of Alcohol Policy on Sexually Transmitted Disease Rates in the United States," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 215-38, April.
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