Welfare Generosity, Pregnancies and Abortions Among Unmarried Afdc Recipients

Journal of Population Economics, Vol. 13, Issue 4

Posted: 12 Sep 2001

See all articles by Laura M. Argys

Laura M. Argys

University of Colorado at Denver - Department of Economics

Susan L. Averett

Lafayette College - Department of Economics & Business

Daniel I. Rees

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

Abstract

Even before the 1996 overhaul of the U.S. welfare system, a number of states had ended the practice of paying extra benefits to families who have additional children while receiving welfare. Proponents believe that this reform can reduce births to recipients, however many worry that it may encourage women to obtain abortions. Using a sample of unmarried AFDC recipients from the NLSY, we estimate a bivariate probit model of pregnancy and, conditional on becoming pregnant, the probability of abortion. Our results lend some support for the proposition that reducing incremental AFDC benefits will decrease pregnancies without increasing abortions.

Keywords: Welfare, abortion, fertility

Suggested Citation

Argys, Laura M. and Averett, Susan and Rees, Daniel I., Welfare Generosity, Pregnancies and Abortions Among Unmarried Afdc Recipients. Journal of Population Economics, Vol. 13, Issue 4. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=257202

Laura M. Argys

University of Colorado at Denver - Department of Economics ( email )

Campus Box 181
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364
United States
303-556-3547 (Fax)

Susan Averett (Contact Author)

Lafayette College - Department of Economics & Business ( email )

Easton, PA 18042
United States
610-250-5307 (Phone)
610-250-8961 (Fax)

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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