21 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2007
Legalizing abortion can either increase or decrease investments in childrens human capital. This article finds that abortion increases the number of out-of-wedlock births. Using data that more directly links the criminal with age when the crime was committed, not age when arrested, and fixing the assumption in previous research that no abortions took place prior to the Roe v. Wade decision in the 45 states affected by that decision, we find consistent significant evidence that legalizing abortions increased murders by over 7%. Linear estimates indicate that legalization increased total annual victimization costs by at least $3.2 billion.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Lott, John R. and Whitley, John E, Abortion and Crime: Unwanted Children and Out-of-Wedlock Births. Economic Inquiry, Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 304-324, April 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=969508 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2006.00040.x
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