Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/73801
Authors: 
Klick, Jonathan
Neelsen, Sven
Stratmann, Thomas
Year of Publication: 
2009
Series/Report no.: 
Ifo Working Paper 79
Abstract: 
Most industrialized countries have increased access to abortion over the past 30 years. Economic theory predicts that abortion laws affect sexual behavior since they change the marginal cost of having risky sex. We use gonorrhea incidence as a metric of risky sexual behavior. Using a panel of 41 North American, European and Central Asian countries over the period 1980-2000, we estimate the impact of abortion law reform on risky sex. Compared to the most restrictive legislation that permits abortion only to save the pregnant woman’s life or her physical health, more liberal abortion laws are associated with at least thirty additional gonorrhea cases per 100,000 individuals. The marginal effect of laws which make abortion available on request is larger than the effect of laws which allow abortion on socioeconomic and mental health grounds. Our results are robust against a set of alternative sample constructions and model specifications.
Subjects: 
Gonorrhea
pregnancy
sexually transmitted diseases
abortion laws
JEL: 
I12
I18
J13
K00
K32
Z13
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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