Papal Visits and Abortions - Evidence from Italy

57 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2018 Last revised: 18 Jul 2019

See all articles by Egidio Farina

Egidio Farina

Queen's University Belfast

Vikram Pathania

University of Sussex - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 28, 2019

Abstract

We investigate the impact of papal visits to Italian provinces on abortions from 1979 to 2012. Using administrative data, we find a 10-20% decrease in the number of abortions that commences in the 3rd month and persists until the 14th month after the visits. However, we find no significant change in the number of live births. A decline in unintended pregnancies best explains our results. Papal visits generate intense local media coverage, and likely make salient the Catholic Church’s stance against abortions. We show that papal visits lead to increased church attendance, and that the decline in abortions is greater when the Pope mentions abortion in his speeches.

Keywords: Religion, Abortion, Pope, Italy

JEL Classification: J13, Z12

Suggested Citation

Farina, Egidio and Pathania, Vikram, Papal Visits and Abortions - Evidence from Italy (June 28, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3144306 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3144306

Egidio Farina

Queen's University Belfast ( email )

25 University Square
Belfast, BT7 1NN
Ireland

Vikram Pathania (Contact Author)

University of Sussex - Department of Economics ( email )

Falmer, Brighton BN1 9SL
United Kingdom

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