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The Impact of Abortion on Crime and Crime-Related Behavior

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  • Randi Hjalmarsson
  • Andreea Mitrut
  • Cristian Pop-Eleches

Abstract

The 1966 abolition and 1989 legalization of abortion in Romania immediately doubled and decreased by about a third the number of births per month, respectively. To isolate the link between abortion access and crime while abstracting from cohort and general equilibrium effects, we compare birth month cohorts on either side of the abortion regime. For both the abolition and legalization of abortion, we find large and significant effects on the level of crime and risky-behavior related hospitalization, but an insignificant effect on crime and hospitalization rates (i.e. when normalizing by the size of the birth month cohort). In other words, the Romanian abortion reforms did affect crime, but all of the effect appears to be driven by cohort size effects rather than selection or unwantedness effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Randi Hjalmarsson & Andreea Mitrut & Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2019. "The Impact of Abortion on Crime and Crime-Related Behavior," NBER Working Papers 26024, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26024
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    Cited by:

    1. Arnaud Chevalier & Olivier Marie, 2019. "Risky Moms, Risky Kids? Fertility And Crime After The Fall Of The Wall," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 19-087/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    2. Gábor Hajdu & Tamás Hajdu, 2021. "The long-term impact of restricted access to abortion on children’s socioeconomic outcomes," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(3), pages 1-14, March.
    3. Arnaud Chevalier & Olivier Marie, 2022. "Risky Moms, Risky Kids? Fertility and Crime after the Fall of the Wall," CESifo Working Paper Series 9683, CESifo.

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    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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