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Still Waiting for Mister Right? Asymmetric Information, Abortion Laws and the Timing of Marriage

  • Bowmaker, Simon W.

    ()

    (New York University)

  • Emerson, Patrick M.

    ()

    (Oregon State University)

Previous studies have suggested that more liberal abortion laws should lead to a decrease in marriage rates among young women as 'shotgun weddings' are no longer necessary. Empirical evidence from the United States lends support to that hypothesis. This paper presents an alternative theory of abortion access and marriage based on asymmetric information, which suggests that more liberal abortion laws may actually promote young marriage. An empirical examination of marriage data from Eastern Europe shows that countries that liberalized their abortion laws saw an increase in marriage rates among non-teenage women.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4176.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Applied Economics, 2013, 45 (22), 3151-3169
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4176
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  1. 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.
  2. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:75-113 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Pierre-André Chiappori & Sonia Oreffice, 2008. "Birth Control and Female Empowerment: An Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(1), pages 113-140, 02.
  4. Eugene Choo & Aloysius Siow, 2006. "Who Marries Whom and Why," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 175-201, February.
  5. Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1988. "Risk, Implicit Contracts and the Family in Rural Areas of Low-income Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 1148-70, December.
  6. Donohue, John J. & Levitt, Steven D., 2000. "The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt00p599hk, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  7. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2002. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 730-770, August.
  8. Henriette Engelhardt & Heike Trappe & Jaap Dronkers, 2002. "Differences in family policy and the intergenerational transmission of divorce: a comparison between the former East and West Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-008, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  9. Henriette Engelhardt & Heike Trappe & Jaap Dronkers, 2002. "Differences in Family Policies and the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 6(11), pages 295-324, May.
  10. Phillip B. Levine, 2000. "The Sexual Activity and Birth Control Use of American Teenagers," JCPR Working Papers 161, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  11. Levine, Phillip B & Staiger, Douglas, 2004. "Abortion Policy and Fertility Outcomes: The Eastern European Experience," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(1), pages 223-43, April.
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