Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of the 1970 State Abortion Reforms

Joshua D. Angrist, William N. Evans

NBER Working Paper No. 5406
Issued in January 1996
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies

This study uses the 1970 state abortion reforms to estimate the effect of teen and out-of-wedlock childbearing on the schooling and labor market outcomes of mothers observed in 1980 and 1990 Census microdata. Reduced-form estimates suggest that state abortion reforms had a negative impact on teen marriage, teen fertility, and teen out- of-wedlock childbearing. The teen marriage effects are largest and most precisely estimated for white women while the teen fertility and out-of-wedlock childbearing effects are largest and most precisely estimated for black women. The relatively modest fertility and marriage consequences of abortion reform for white women do not appear to have changed schooling or labor market outcomes. In contrast, black women who were exposed to abortion reforms experienced large reductions in teen fertility and teen out-of-wedlock fertility that appear to have led to increased schooling and employment rates. Instrumental variables estimates of the effects of teen and out-of- wedlock childbearing on the schooling and employment status of black women, using measures of exposure to abortion reform as instruments, are marginally significant and larger than the corresponding OLS estimates.

download in pdf format
   (518 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w5406

Published: Research in Labor Economics, Vol. 18 (1999).

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Angrist and Evans w5778 Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size
Ananat, Gruber, and Levine w10705 Abortion Legalization and Lifecycle Fertility
Gruber, Levine, and Staiger w6034 Abortion Legalization and Child Living Circumstances: Who is the "Marginal Child?"
Duflo w7860 Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment
Bailey, Hershbein, and Miller w17922 The Opt-In Revolution? Contraception and the Gender Gap in Wages
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us