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Health information and health outcomes: an application of the regression discontinuity design to the 1995 UK contraceptive pill scare case

  • Del Bono, Emilia
  • Francesconi, Marco
  • Best, Nicky G.

This paper provides a general formulation of the regression discontinuity (RD) design and applies this method to analyse the effects of the 1995 UK pill scare. We show that in the five months following a health warning on the "third generation" pill, conception rates rose by more than 7%, abortion rates shot up by more than 9%, and birth rates increased by 6-7%. By contrast, no or small effects were found on the resulting babies' general health, with the exception of a reduction in the incidence of congenital anomalies. Heterogeneity by mother's age and social class was very pronounced, with most of the effects being experienced by women aged less than 25 and of lower socioeconomic status.Â

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File URL: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/research/publications/working-papers/iser/2011-16.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series ISER Working Paper Series with number 2011-16.

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Date of creation: 23 Jun 2011
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Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2011-16
Contact details of provider: Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
Phone: 44-1206-872957
Fax: 44-1206-873151
Web page: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/
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Order Information: Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
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  1. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
  2. Erich Battistin & Agar Brugiavini & Enrico Rettore & Guglielmo Weber, 2009. "The Retirement Consumption Puzzle: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2209-26, December.
  3. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2002. "Estimating the Effect of Financial Aid Offers on College Enrollment: A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1249-1287, November.
  4. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2008. "Regression-Discontinuity Analysis: A Survey of Recent Developments in Economics," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(2), pages 219-245, 06.
  5. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
  6. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Regression Discontinuity Designs In Economics," Working Papers 1118, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  7. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2005. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 376-424, April.
  8. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
  9. David S. Lee & David Card, 2006. "Regression Discontinuity Inference with Specification Error," NBER Technical Working Papers 0322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-75, March.
  11. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2002. "Remedial Education and Student Achievement: A Regression-Discontinuity Analysis," NBER Working Papers 8918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Susan Chen & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2006. "The Work Disincentive Effects of the Disability Insurance Program in the 1990s," Working Papers 06-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  13. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
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