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Matching estimates of the impact of over-the-counter emergency birth control on teenage pregnancy

  • Sourafel Girma

    (Nottingham University Business School, Nottingham, UK)

  • David Paton

    (Nottingham University Business School, Nottingham, UK)

In this paper, we demonstrate how matching estimators can be used to evaluate policy interventions which are implemented in relatively few regions at different times. Our technique is based on translating calendar time into 'experimental time' to provide a common starting point for entry by different areas into the scheme. Such an approach is likely to have many applications, in particular to cases of state- or country-level interventions for which only aggregate data are available. We illustrate the technique using the case of free over-the-counter access to emergency birth control for teenagers at pharmacies in England. We construct matching estimates of the impact of this scheme on the under-18 conception rate in local authorities. Irrespective of either the matching or the adjustment procedure, we find no evidence that over-the-counter emergency birth control schemes lead to lower teenage pregnancy rates. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1129
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2006)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
Pages: 1021-1032

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:15:y:2006:i:9:p:1021-1032
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
  2. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  3. Paton, David, 2002. "The economics of family planning and underage conceptions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 207-225, March.
  4. Smith, Jeffrey & Todd, Petra, 2005. "Rejoinder," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 365-375.
  5. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L & Katz, Michael L, 1996. "An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 277-317, May.
  6. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 2002. "Propensity score matching methods for non-experimental causal studies," Discussion Papers 0102-14, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  7. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2002. "Simple and Bias-Corrected Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2000. "Evaluation methods for non-experimental data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 427-468, January.
  9. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  10. David Paton, 2004. "Random Behaviour Or Rational Choice? Family Planning, Teenage Pregnancy And STIs," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 135, Royal Economic Society.
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