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The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Child Health Outcomes and Abandonment. Evidence from Romania

  • Mitrut Andreea

    (Department of Economics - Université d'Uppsala et Gothenburg)

  • François-Charles Wolff

    (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - UN - Université de Nantes)

We use household survey data and a unique census of institutionalized children to analyze the impact of abortion legalization in Romania. More exactly, we exploit the lift of the abortion ban in December 1989, when communist dictator Ceausescu and his regime were removed from power, to understand its impact on children's health at birth and during early childhood. Also, we try to understand whether the lift of the ban had an immediate impact on child abandonment. Our study suggests a positive, albeit modest, effect of abortion legalization on children's health at birth, while we do not find any significant effect on their health outcomes when measured by standard anthropometric z-scores at age 4 and 5. With respect to the permanently institutionalized (i.e., abandoned children), our findings suggest that abortion legalization had no immediate effect on child abandonment.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00470578
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