The Effects of Statutory Rape Laws on Nonmarital Teenage Childbearing

17 Pages Posted: 30 May 2006

See all articles by Christopher Jepsen

Christopher Jepsen

University College Dublin (UCD) - School of Economics

Lisa Kay Jepsen

University of Northern Iowa

Abstract

Many policy makers view the enforcement of statutory rape laws as a way to reduce teenage childbirths. This article considers whether unmarried teenage girls covered by a state statutory rape law are less likely to give birth than girls who are not covered by a statutory rape law. The presence of statutory rape laws is negatively correlated with nonmarital birthrates for white females but is not a significant predictor for black or Hispanic females. In contrast, the enforcement of statutory rape laws has a deterrent effect on teen childbearing for blacks and Hispanics but not for whites.

JEL Classification: J13, K14

Suggested Citation

Jepsen, Christopher and Jepsen, Lisa Kay, The Effects of Statutory Rape Laws on Nonmarital Teenage Childbearing. Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 35-51, 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=904942

Christopher Jepsen (Contact Author)

University College Dublin (UCD) - School of Economics ( email )

Belfield
Belfield, Dublin 4 4
Ireland

Lisa Kay Jepsen

University of Northern Iowa ( email )

Cedar Falls, IA 50614
United States

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