Abortion and Selection
The introduction of legalized abortion in the early 1970s led to dramatic changes in fertility behavior. Some research has suggested as well that there were important impacts on cohort outcomes, but this literature has been limited and controversial. In this paper, we provide a framework for understanding the mechanisms through which abortion access affects cohort outcomes, and use that framework to both address inconsistent past methodological approaches, and provide evidence on the long-run impact on cohort characteristics. Our results provide convincing evidence that abortion legalization altered young adult outcomes through selection. In particular, we find evidence that lower costs of abortion led to improved outcomes in the birth cohort in the form of an increased likelihood of college graduation, lower rates of welfare use, and lower odds of being a single parent. We also find that our empirical innovations do not substantially alter earlier results regarding the relationship between abortion and crime, although most of that relationship appears to reflect cohort size effects rather than selection.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Ananat, Elizabeth, Jonathan Gruber, Phillip Levine, and Douglas Staiger. “Abortion and Selection.” Review of Economics and Statistics 91,1 (2009): 124–136.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Charles, Kerwin Kofi & Stephens, Melvin, Jr, 2006.
"Abortion Legalization and Adolescent Substance Use,"
Journal of Law and Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 481-505, October.
- Kerwin Kofi Charles & Melvin Stephens Jr., 2002. "Abortion Legalization and Adolescent Substance Use," NBER Working Papers 9193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John J. Donohue & Steven D. Levitt, 2001.
"The Impact Of Legalized Abortion On Crime,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 379-420, May.
- 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.
- Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
- Elizabeth Oltmans Ananat & Jonathan Gruber & Phillip Levine, 2007.
"Abortion Legalization and Life-Cycle Fertility,"
Journal of Human Resources,
University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(2).
- Jonathan Gruber & Phillip Levine & Douglas Staiger, 1997.
"Abortion Legalization and Child Living Circumstances: Who is the "Marginal Child?","
NBER Working Papers
6034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Ted Joyce, 2004. "Further Tests of Abortion and Crime," NBER Working Papers 10564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997.
"Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments,"
Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
- Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, 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).
- Levine, Phillip B., 2003. "Parental involvement laws and fertility behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 861-878, September.
- Christopher L. Foote & Christopher F. Goetz, 2005. "Testing economic hypotheses with state-level data: a comment on Donohue and Levitt (2001)," Working Papers 05-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Solon, Gary, 1999. "Intergenerational mobility in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 29, pages 1761-1800 Elsevier.
- John J. Donohue III & Steven D. Levitt, 2003.
"Further Evidence that Legalized Abortion Lowered Crime: A Reply to Joyce,"
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).
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12150. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.