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

Author

Listed:
  • Bowmaker, Simon W.

    () (New York University)

  • Emerson, Patrick M.

    () (Oregon State University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Bowmaker, Simon W. & Emerson, Patrick M., 2009. "Still Waiting for Mister Right? Asymmetric Information, Abortion Laws and the Timing of Marriage," IZA Discussion Papers 4176, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4176
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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 223-243, April.
    2. Phillip B. Levine, 2001. "The Sexual Activity and Birth-Control Use of American Teenagers," NBER Chapters,in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 167-218 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Henriette Engelhardt-Wölfler & 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.
    4. 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.
    5. John J. Donohue III & Steven D. Levitt, 2001. "The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 379-420.
    6. 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.
    7. 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 1148-1170, December.
    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. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:75-113 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas Staiger, 1996. "Teen Motherhood and Abortion Access," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 467-506.
    11. 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, February.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    marriage asymmetric information; abortion;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General

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