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Abortion and Infant Homicide

31 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2004  

David E. Kalist

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics

Noelle A. Molinari

Wayne State University - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 2004

Abstract

Recent research indicates that the United States Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade was a major contributing factor to the significant drop in crime during the 1990s. This paper extends that research by examining the contemporaneous relationship between abortion and infant homicide. We test the hypothesis that abortion removes out of the population those infants most at risk of infant homicide. Within this context, the impact of Medicaid funding for abortions on infant homicides is analyzed. Using cross-sectional time-series data for U.S. states between 1978 and 2000, we find a strong negative relationship between infant homicide and the abortion rate: a one standard deviation increase in the abortion rate reduces the expected number of infant homicides by approximately 40 percent. Medicaid funding of abortion reduces the number of infant homicides; the data suggest that infant homicides are between 13 and 20 percent lower in states that fund abortion.

Keywords: Abortion, crime, infant homicide, medicaid

JEL Classification: I18, J13, K42

Suggested Citation

Kalist, David E. and Molinari, Noelle A., Abortion and Infant Homicide (February 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=515182 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.515182

David E. Kalist (Contact Author)

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Shippensburg, PA 17257
United States

Noelle A. Molinari

Wayne State University - Department of Economics ( email )

656 W. Kirby
Detroit, MI 48202
United States

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