Journal Article

The Relationship between Abortion Liberalization and Sexual Behavior: International Evidence

Jonathan Klick, Sven Neelsen and Thomas Stratmann

in American Law and Economics Review

Published on behalf of The American Law and Economics Association

Volume 14, issue 2, pages 457-487
Published in print December 2012 | ISSN: 1465-7252
Published online September 2012 | e-ISSN: 1465-7260 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aler/ahs012
The Relationship between Abortion Liberalization and Sexual Behavior: International Evidence

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  • Economics of Health
  • Demographic Economics
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Economic theory predicts that abortion laws affect sexual behavior since they change the marginal cost of having risky sex. We estimate the impact of abortion laws on sexual behavior by reported gonorrhea incidence. Our data panel includes 41 countries for which consistent gonorrhea data are available for 1980–2000. Compared with laws permitting abortion only to save the pregnant woman’s life or her physical health, the switch to more liberal abortion laws is associated with large increases in reported gonorrhea incidence. Our results help explain why birth rates do not decline at the same rate abortions increase when laws are liberalized.

Keywords: I12; I18; J13; K00; K32; Z13

Journal Article.  9914 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economics of Health ; Demographic Economics ; Economic Sociology ; Law and Economics

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