The Effect of Abortion Legalization on Childbearing by Unwed Teenagers in Future Cohorts

16 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2013

See all articles by Serkan Ozbeklik

Serkan Ozbeklik

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance; Claremont McKenna College

Date Written: January 2014

Abstract

This article examines the long‐term impact of legalized abortion on childbearing by unwed teenagers in the United States. I find that the 1970 legalization of abortion in the repeal states led to about a 6% reduction in unwed childbearing rates for white women aged 15–20 who were born in these states immediately after abortion became legal. I find a larger long‐term impact for African‐American women of the same ages: a 7.5%–13% reduction in unwed childbearing. My estimates are smaller and not as precise for the effect of Roe v. Wade. This outcome is not surprising given that I am able to estimate only a potential lower bound of the effect on unwed childbearing rates. On the other hand, when I estimated a Difference‐in‐Difference regression for the non‐repeal states assuming that there was no national trend that affected the childbearing behavior of the treatment age groups and their respective control age groups separately, I found that the true effect of Roe v. Wade on childbearing by unwed teenagers was about an 11% and 3% reductions for white and African‐American teenagers, respectively.

JEL Classification: J13, I18

Suggested Citation

Ozbeklik, Serkan, The Effect of Abortion Legalization on Childbearing by Unwed Teenagers in Future Cohorts (January 2014). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 52, Issue 1, pp. 100-115, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2357225 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecin.12017

Serkan Ozbeklik (Contact Author)

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance ( email )

500 E. Ninth St.
Claremont, CA 91711-6420
United States

Claremont McKenna College ( email )

Robert Day School of Economics and Finance
Claremont, CA 91711
United States

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