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http://ssrn.com/abstract=306340
 
 

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The Effect of Abortion Legalization on the Incidence of Sexually Transmitted Diseases


Thomas Stratmann


George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

Jonathan Klick


University of Pennsylvania Law School; Erasmus School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

April 4, 2002

George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 02-11

Abstract:     
The risk of an unwanted pregnancy represents one of the major costs of sexual activity. When abortion was legalized in a number of states during the late 1960s and early 1970s (and nationally with the 1973 Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade), this cost was reduced as women gained the option of terminating an unwanted pregnancy. We predict that abortion legalization led to an increase in sexual activity, accompanied by an increase in sexually transmitted diseases. Using CDC data on the incidence of gonorrhea and syphilis by state, we test the hypothesis that judicial and legislative decisions to legalize abortion lead to an increase in sexually transmitted diseases. We find that gonorrhea and syphilis incidences are significantly and positively correlated with abortion legalization. According to our estimates, abortion legalization might account for as much as one third of the average disease incidence.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 29

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Date posted: April 22, 2002  

Suggested Citation

Stratmann, Thomas and Klick, Jonathan, The Effect of Abortion Legalization on the Incidence of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (April 4, 2002). George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 02-11. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=306340 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.306340

Contact Information

Thomas Stratmann (Contact Author)
George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy ( email )
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-2330 (Phone)
CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)
Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany
Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics ( email )
124 Mount Auburn Street
Suite 520N
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jonathan Klick
University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )
3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
2157463455 (Phone)
Erasmus School of Law ( email )
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
PERC - Property and Environment Research Center
2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

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