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The relationship between abortion rates and economic fluctuations

Fidel Gonzalez () and Troy Quast

Economics & Human Biology, 2022, vol. 46, issue C

Abstract: We analyze the relationship between abortions and economic fluctuation at the U.S. state level for the 1995–2016 period. We do not find a statistically significant association between the overall abortion rate and the unemployment rate across the full sample period. However, we observe a procyclical association from approximately 2004 to 2010, during which a one percentage point increase in the unemployment rate is associated with a roughly 5% decrease in the abortion rate. This procyclical association is confirmed when we subsample our data to the 2005–2016 period. Our subgroup analysis indicates a procyclical association for the abortion rates for younger women, while we do not observe statistically significant associations when the analysis is stratified by race or ethnicity. The associations we observe for the younger age groups are especially pronounced in states with restrictions on Medicaid funding of abortions. Our analysis suggests that economic conditions may be an important factor in the reproductive choices by women.

Keywords: Business cycle; Abortions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2022.101120

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