The Effect of Parental Involvement Laws on Youth Suicide

17 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2012

See all articles by Joseph J. Sabia

Joseph J. Sabia

San Diego State University - Department of Economics

Daniel I. Rees

University of Colorado Denver; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: January 2013

Abstract

Using state‐level data on suicides from the period 1987 to 2003, we find that the adoption of a law requiring a parent's notification or consent before a minor can obtain an abortion is associated with an 11%–21% reduction in the number of 15‐ through 17‐year‐old females who commit suicide. In contrast, the adoption of a parental involvement law is not associated with a reduction in the number of older females who commit suicide or in the number of 15‐ through 17‐year‐old males who commit suicide. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that parental involvement laws represent an increase in the expected cost of having unprotected sex, and, as a consequence, serve to protect young females from depression and what have been termed “stressful life events” such as conflict with a parent or an abortion.

JEL Classification: I18, I10, J13

Suggested Citation

Sabia, Joseph J. and Rees, Daniel I., The Effect of Parental Involvement Laws on Youth Suicide (January 2013). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 51, Issue 1, pp. 620-636, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2182986 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2011.00440.x

Joseph J. Sabia (Contact Author)

San Diego State University - Department of Economics ( email )

5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182
United States

Daniel I. Rees

University of Colorado Denver ( email )

Campus Box 181
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80218
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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