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Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of the 1970 State Abortion Reforms

  • Joshua D. Angrist
  • William N. Evans

This study uses the 1970 state abortion reforms to estimate the effect of teen and out-of-wedlock childbearing on the schooling and labor market outcomes of mothers observed in 1980 and 1990 Census microdata. Reduced-form estimates suggest that state abortion reforms had a negative impact on teen marriage, teen fertility, and teen out- of-wedlock childbearing. The teen marriage effects are largest and most precisely estimated for white women while the teen fertility and out-of-wedlock childbearing effects are largest and most precisely estimated for black women. The relatively modest fertility and marriage consequences of abortion reform for white women do not appear to have changed schooling or labor market outcomes. In contrast, black women who were exposed to abortion reforms experienced large reductions in teen fertility and teen out-of-wedlock fertility that appear to have led to increased schooling and employment rates. Instrumental variables estimates of the effects of teen and out-of- wedlock childbearing on the schooling and employment status of black women, using measures of exposure to abortion reform as instruments, are marginally significant and larger than the corresponding OLS estimates.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5406.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5406.

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Date of creation: Jan 1996
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Research in Labor Economics, Vol. 18 (1999).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5406
Note: LS
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Blank, Rebecca M. & George, Christine C. & London, Rebecca A., 1996. "State abortion rates the impact of policies, providers, politics, demographics, and economic environment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 513-553, October.
  2. Joshua D. Angrist, 1995. "Estimating the Labor Market Impact of Voluntary Military Service Using Social Security Data on Military Applicants," NBER Working Papers 5192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. J.D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens & D.B. Rubin, 1993. "Identification of Causal Effects Using Instrumental Variables," NBER Technical Working Papers 0136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Working Papers 645, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  5. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1989. "Why Do World War II Veterans Earn More Than Nonveterans?," Working Papers 634, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1993. "Split Sample Instrumental Variables," Working Papers 699, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  7. Levine, P-B & Staiger, D & Kane, T-J & Zimmerman, D-J, 1996. "Roe V.Wade and American Fertility," Papers 96-03, Wellesley College - Department of Economics.
  8. Janet Currie & Lucia Nixon & Nancy Cole, 1993. "Restrictions on Medicaid Funding of Abortion: Effects on Pregnancy Resolutions and Birth Weight," NBER Working Papers 4432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bronars, Stephen G & Grogger, Jeff, 1994. "The Economic Consequences of Unwed Motherhood: Using Twin Births as a Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1141-56, December.
  10. Geronimus, Arline T & Korenman, Sanders, 1992. "The Socioeconomic Consequences of Teen Childbearing Reconsidered," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1187-214, November.
  11. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," NBER Working Papers 3572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Randall J. Olsen & George Farkas, 1989. "Endogenous Covariates in Duration Models and the Effect of Adolescent Childbirth on Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(1), pages 39-53.
  13. Levine, Phillip B. & Trainor, Amy B. & Zimmerman, David J., 1996. "The effect of Medicaid abortion funding restrictions on abortions, pregnancies and births," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 555-578, October.
  14. Theodore Joyce & Michael Grossman, 1990. "Pregnancy wantedness and the early initiation of prenatal care," Demography, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 1-17, February.
  15. Theodore J. Joyce & Naci H. Mocan, 1989. "The Impact of a Ban on Legalized Abortion on Adolescent Childbearing in New York City," NBER Working Papers 3002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Levine, P.B. & Trainor, A.B. & Zimmerman, D.J., 1995. "The Effect of Medicaid Abortion Funding Restrictions on Abortions, Pregnancies, Birth," Papers 95-08, Wellesley College - Department of Economics.
  17. Angrist, Joshua D & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Split-Sample Instrumental Variables Estimates of the Return to Schooling," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 225-35, April.
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