Measurement Error, Legalized Abortion, and the Decline in Crime: A Response to Foote and Goetz (2005)
Donohue and Levitt (2001) argue that the legalization of abortion in the United States in the 1970s played an important role in explaining the observed decline in crime approximately two decades later. Foote and Goetz (2005) challenge the results presented in one of the tables in that original paper. In this reply, we regretfully acknowledge the omission of state-year interactions in the published version of that table, but show that their inclusion does not alter the qualitative results (or their statistical significance), although it does reduce the magnitude of the estimates. When one uses a more carefully constructed measure of abortion (e.g. one that takes into account cross-state mobility, or doing a better job of matching dates of birth to abortion exposure), however, the evidence in support of the abortion-crime hypothesis is as strong or stronger than suggested in our original work.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Donohue, John J. and Steven D. Levitt. "Measurement Error, Legalized Abortion, and the Decline in Crime: A Response to Foote and Goetz." Quarterly Journal of Economics 123, 1 (2008): 425-440.|
|Note:||HE LE LS PE|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
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- John Donohue & Steven Levitt, 2000.
"The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime,"
NBER Working Papers
8004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Elizabeth Oltmans Ananat & Jonathan Gruber & Phillip Levine, 2007.
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NBER Working Papers
9532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John J. Donohue, III & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "Further Evidence that Legalized Abortion Lowered Crime: A Reply to Joyce," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
- Roland G. Fryer & Paul S. Heaton & Steven D. Levitt & Kevin M. Murphy, 2005. "Measuring the Impact of Crack Cocaine," NBER Working Papers 11318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ted Joyce, 2004. "Did Legalized Abortion Lower Crime?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
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