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Abortion and Property Crime: What becomes of the Mothers?

Alexi Thompson () and Christopher Jeffords ()
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Alexi Thompson: Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Economics Bulletin, 2018, vol. 38, issue 4, 2490-2499

Abstract: Using yearly data from 1973-2009, we estimate an error correction model to examine the effects of abortion rates on property crime rates among the U.S. female population aged 15-44. Controlling for income per capita, the female unemployment rate, and the female incarceration rate, the findings suggest that a 1% increase in the abortion rate is associated with a 0.43% increase in the property crime rate, or a 1% decrease in the abortion rate is associated with a 0.43% decrease in the property crime rate. We suspect this result indicates that a woman with fewer or no children is relatively more risk averse than a woman with many children. Given that property crime appears to be an external cost associated with abortion, our results suggest that in years when abortion rates are rising or are higher than average, it is prudent to devote additional resources to combating property crime, especially if the relationship we found persists.

Keywords: abortion; property crime; women (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Z0 A1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-12-27
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