The Birth of Surrogate Motherhood Law: An Economic Analysis of Institutional Reform

34 Pages Posted: 8 May 2014 Last revised: 20 Jul 2015

Date Written: May 7, 2014


Why is surrogacy enforceable in some of the US jurisdictions and not in others? In what way does the enforcement of surrogate motherhood contracts effect the number of exchanges between intended parents and surrogate mothers? Throughout the last two decades of the twentieth century, public approval of surrogate motherhood, as expressed in opinion surveys, increased. Using data from surveys carried out through the period 1983-1992 I examine the relationship between approval of surrogate motherhood and time to legal institutional change. By means of duration analysis I show that, through political processes, changing beliefs effect institutional change. Other factors, including accidents, imitation, and historical conditions, are also shown to have an effect on the probability of legal institutional change. By means of a comparative institutional analysis I show that between the years 2003 and 2012 states with judge-made-surrogacy law registered systematically higher number of surrogate motherhood contracts than other states.

Keywords: Institutional change, legal enforcement, surrogate motherhood, duration analysis, comparative institutional analysis

JEL Classification: D02, C41, K12, K36, K42

Suggested Citation

Kuchař, Pavel, The Birth of Surrogate Motherhood Law: An Economic Analysis of Institutional Reform (May 7, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Pavel Kuchař (Contact Author)

Palacký University Olomouc ( email )

Křížkovského 513
Olomouc, Czech Republic 779 00
Czech Republic

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