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Matching Estimates of the Impact of Over-the-Counter Emergency Birth Control on Teenage Pregnancy

In this paper we demonstrate how matching estimators can be used to evaluate policy interventions which are implemented in relatively few regions at different times. Our technique is based on translating calendar time into 'experimental time' to provide a common starting point for entry by different areas into the scheme. Such an approach is likely to have many applications, in particular to cases of state- or country- level interventions for which only aggregate data are available. We illustrate the technique using the case of free over-the-counter access to emergency birth control (EBC) for teenagers in England. We construct matching estimates of the impact of this scheme on the under-18 conception rate in local authorities. Irrespective of either the matching or the adjustment procedure, we do not find evidence that pharmacy EBC schemes led to significantly lower teenage pregnancy rates.

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Paper provided by Industrial Economics Division in its series Occasional Papers with number 15.

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Date of creation: 10 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nub:occpap:15
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  1. Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 2003. "Does Matching Overcome Lalonde's Critique of Nonexperimental Estimators?," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20035, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
  2. David Paton, 2004. "Random Behaviour Or Rational Choice? Family Planning, Teenage Pregnancy And STIs," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 135, Royal Economic Society.
  3. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2002. "Simple and Bias-Corrected Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra Todd, 1998. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 261-294.
  5. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen & Michael L. Katz, 1996. "An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 277-317.
  6. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2000. "Evaluation methods for non-experimental data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 427-468, January.
  7. Smith, Jeffrey & Todd, Petra, 2005. "Rejoinder," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 365-375.
  8. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-experimental Causal Studies," NBER Working Papers 6829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Paton, David, 2002. "The economics of family planning and underage conceptions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 207-225, March.
  10. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
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