The Abortion–Crime Link: Evidence from England and Wales
Article first published online: 19 SEP 2007
Volume 75, Issue 297, pages 1–21, February 2008
How to Cite
KAHANE, L. H., PATON, D. and SIMMONS, R. (2008), The Abortion–Crime Link: Evidence from England and Wales. Economica, 75: 1–21. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0335.2007.00627.x
- Issue published online: 19 SEP 2007
- Article first published online: 19 SEP 2007
- Final version received 23 May 2007.
Using data from England and Wales, we test the hypothesis that legalizing abortion reduces crime. The timing of changes in crime rates in aggregate data is generally inconsistent with this hypothesis. Using panel data on recorded crime from 1983 to 2001, we are able to replicate the negative association between abortion rates and reported crime that J. J. Donohue and S. D. Levitt found for the United States. However, this association breaks down under the scrutiny of robustness checks and is not present when we examine data on convictions broken down by age. Overall, we find no clear, consistent relationship between abortion and crime in England and Wales.