Econometric Analyses of U.S. Abortion Policy: A Critical Review

32 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2004 Last revised: 25 Mar 2010

See all articles by Jonathan Klick

Jonathan Klick

University of Pennsylvania Law School; Erasmus School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center


Although most of the debates on abortion policy hinge on normative beliefs about the relative rights of women and their unborn children, the regulation of abortion access has large consequentialist implications as well. In recent years, economists have devoted significant attention to these positive aspects of abortion policy, using econometric techniques to estimate the effect of changes in abortion policy on sexual behavior, crime, opportunities for women, and public finance considerations. This article reviews this literature for a non-technical audience, highlighting the policy implications of the research and critiquing the methodologies used.

Keywords: Abortion, Birth Control, Sex, Crime, Women, Welfare

JEL Classification: H5, I1, J1, K3

Suggested Citation

Klick, Jonathan, Econometric Analyses of U.S. Abortion Policy: A Critical Review. Fordham University School of Law, Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. 31, Pg. 751, 2004, FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 108, Available at SSRN:

Jonathan Klick (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

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Erasmus School of Law ( email )

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PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

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