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The Impact of Abortion on Crime and Crime-Related Behavior

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  • Hjalmarsson, Randi
  • Mitrut, Andreea
  • Pop-Eleches, Cristian

Abstract

The 1966 abolition and 1989 legalization of abortion in Romania immediately doubled and decreased by about a third the number of births per month, respectively. To isolate the link between abortion access and crime while abstracting from cohort and general equilibrium effects, we compare birth month cohorts on either side of the abortion regime. For both the abolition and legalization of abortion, we find large and significant effects on the level of crime and risky-behavior related hospitalization, but an insignificant effect on crime and hospitalization rates (i.e. when normalizing by the size of the birth month cohort). In other words, the Romanian abortion reforms did affect crime, but all of the effect appears to be driven by cohort size effects rather than selection or unwantedness effects.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13800
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    Cited by:

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Abortion; crime; Risky behavior;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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