Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2275636
 


 



The Effect of Statutory Rape Laws on Teen Birth Rates


Michael Frakes


Northwestern University - School of Law

Matthew C. Harding


Stanford University - Department of Economics

June 6, 2013

Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-89

Abstract:     
Statutory rape laws have sometimes been premised on the goal of reducing teenage pregnancies and live births by teenage mothers. In this paper, we explore whether expansions in such laws are indeed associated with reductions in these outcomes. In order to codify these expansions, we use a national micro-level sample of sexual encounters to simulate the degree to which such encounters generally implicate the relevant laws. This simulation approach facilitates the comparability across jurisdictions of reforms to these multi-faceted legal structures. Our results suggest that live birth rates to teenage mothers may fall by roughly 11 percent upon an increase from 0 to 100 percent in the degree to which sexual activity among a given age group triggers a felony for the elder party to the encounter. We do not find strong results, however, suggesting a further decline upon an increase in the severity of punishment associated with given violations.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 65

Keywords: criminal law, deterrence, statutory rape, public health

JEL Classification: K14, K42, I18

working papers series





Download This Paper

Date posted: June 9, 2013 ; Last revised: January 16, 2014

Suggested Citation

Frakes, Michael and Harding, Matthew C., The Effect of Statutory Rape Laws on Teen Birth Rates (June 6, 2013). Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-89. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2275636 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2275636

Contact Information

Michael Frakes (Contact Author)
Northwestern University - School of Law ( email )
375 E. Chicago Ave
Unit 1505
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
Matthew C. Harding
Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )
Landau Economics Building
579 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6072
United States
650-723-4116 (Phone)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 358
Downloads: 100
Download Rank: 159,391
People who downloaded this paper also downloaded:
1. Constitutionalism and the Foundations of the Security State
By Aziz Rana

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo5 in 0.328 seconds