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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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  • Sourafel Girma & David Paton, 2005. "Matching Estimates of the Impact of Over-the-Counter Emergency Birth Control on Teenage Pregnancy," Occasional Papers 15, Industrial Economics Division.
  • Handle: RePEc:nub:occpap:15

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
    2. 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.
    3. Smith, Jeffrey & Todd, Petra, 2005. "Rejoinder," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 365-375.
    4. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 2002. "Propensity Score-Matching Methods For Nonexperimental Causal Studies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 151-161, February.
    5. David Paton, 2004. "Random Behaviour Or Rational Choice? Family Planning, Teenage Pregnancy And STIs," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 135, Royal Economic Society.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    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 Todd, 1998. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 261-294.
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    Cited by:

    1. Girma, Sourafel & Paton, David, 2015. "Is education the best contraception: The case of teenage pregnancy in England?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 1-9.
    2. Girma, Sourafel & Paton, David, 2011. "The impact of emergency birth control on teen pregnancy and STIs," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 373-380, March.
    3. Christine Piette Durrance, 2013. "The Effects Of Increased Access To Emergency Contraception On Sexually Transmitted Disease And Abortion Rates," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(3), pages 1682-1695, July.
    4. Kearney, Melissa S. & Levine, Phillip B., 2015. "Investigating recent trends in the U.S. teen birth rate," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 15-29.
    5. Sourafel Girma & David Paton, 2013. "Does Parental Consent for Birth Control Affect Underage Pregnancy Rates? The Case of Texas," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(6), pages 2105-2128, December.
    6. Xing Lin Feng & Guang Shi & Yan Wang & Ling Xu & Hao Luo & Juan Shen & Hui Yin & Yan Guo, 2010. "An impact evaluation of the Safe Motherhood Program in China," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(S1), pages 69-94, September.

    More about this item


    matching estimators; family planning; teenage pregnancy; emergency birth control;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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