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Abortions and Inequality

  • Georgi Kocharkov

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

In the last three decades over a million abortions were performed annually in the United States. Recent empirical studies assess the impact of legalization of abortions on living conditions of children and argue that legalization of abortions provides better living conditions and human capital endowments to surviving children. This paper takes seriously the hypothesis that legalized abortion can improve the living conditions of children and hence alter their future labor market outcomes. The main question of the paper is what are the implications of abortions for long-term income inequality. A model of marriage, fertility, human capital transmission, contraception and abortion decisions is built to answer this question quantitatively. Inequality will be higher in a world without abortions. The main reason for this is the higher and more unequally distributed number of children across households. Children also receive less human capital.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Konstanz in its series Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz with number 2012-22.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: 08 Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1222
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  1. Huggett, Mark & Ventura, Gustavo & Yaron, Amir, 2006. "Human capital and earnings distribution dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 265-290, March.
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  9. Haider, Steven J, 2001. "Earnings Instability and Earnings Inequality of Males in the United States: 1967-1991," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 799-836, October.
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  15. Jonathan Gruber & Phillip Levine & Douglas Staiger, 1999. "Abortion Legalization And Child Living Circumstances: Who Is The ''Marginal Child''?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 263-291, February.
  16. Diego Restuccia & Carlos Urrutia, 2002. "Intergenerational Persistence of Earnings: The Role of Early and College Education," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20024, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
  17. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1995. "The career decisions of young men," Working Papers 559, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  18. S. Rao Aiyagari & Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2000. "On the State of the Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 213-244, April.
  19. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  20. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
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