NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime

John Donohue, Steven Levitt

NBER Working Paper No. 8004
Issued in November 2000
NBER Program(s):   CH   LE   PE

We offer evidence that legalized abortion has contributed significantly to recent crime reductions. Crime began to fall roughly 18 years after abortion legalization. The 5 states that allowed abortion in 1970 experienced declines earlier than the rest of the nation, which legalized in 1973 with Roe v. Wade. States with high abortion rates in the 1970s and 1980s experienced greater crime reductions in the 1990s. In high abortion states, only arrests of those born after abortion legalization fall relative to low abortion states. Legalized abortion appears to account for as much as 50 percent of the recent drop in crime.

download in pdf format
   (217 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (217 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w8004

Published: Donohue, John J., III and Steven D. Levitt. "The Impact Of Legalized Abortion On Crime," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2001, v116(2,May), 379-420. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Gruber w7781 Risky Behavior Among Youths: An Economic Analysis
Joyce w8319 Did Legalized Abortion Lower Crime?
Donohue and Levitt w9532 Further Evidence that Legalized Abortion Lowered Crime: A Reply to Joyce
Joyce w15098 Abortion and Crime: A Review
Levitt and Venkatesh w6592 An Economic Analysis of a Drug-Selling Gang's Finances
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

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

Contact Us