Pregnancy Resolution as an Indicator of Wantedness and its Impact on the Initiation of Early Prenatal Care

34 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2004 Last revised: 30 Jun 2008

See all articles by Theodore Joyce

Theodore Joyce

CUNY Baruch College - Zicklin School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Michael Grossman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), NY Office; CUNY The Graduate Center - Department of Economics

Date Written: 1989

Abstract

The study examines the impact of the wantedness of a pregnancy on the demand for early prenatal care. Past attempts to address this question have depended on the self-assessments of women as to the wantedness of their pregnancy and birth. Our approach can be described as a form of revealed preference in which only those pregnancies that are voluntarily terminated by induced abortion are considered to be unwanted. Using a cohort of pregnant women in New York City, we estimate a prenatal care demand function in which we control for the probability of giving birth, given a woman is pregnant. We interpret this control as a measure of wantedness. The results indicate that if the black and Hispanic women who aborted, had instead given birth, they would have delayed the initiation of prenatal care, on average, over three-quarters of a month longer than the mean number of months of delay that were actually observed for the women who gave birth. By allowing women to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, induced abortion increases the average utilization of prenatal care among black and Hispanic women relative to what would have been observed if the women who aborted had instead given birth.

Suggested Citation

Joyce, Theodore J. and Grossman, Michael, Pregnancy Resolution as an Indicator of Wantedness and its Impact on the Initiation of Early Prenatal Care (1989). NBER Working Paper No. w2827. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=447237

Theodore J. Joyce (Contact Author)

CUNY Baruch College - Zicklin School of Business ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Michael Grossman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), NY Office ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://mgrossman.ws.gc.cuny.edu

CUNY The Graduate Center - Department of Economics ( email )

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212-817-7959 (Phone)
212-817-1597 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://mgrossman.ws.gc.cuny.edu

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