The Demand for Abortion by Unmarried Teenagers

Economic Factors, Age, Ethnicity and Religiosity Matter

Authors

  • Randall H King,

    1. [Randall H King, Ph D, is associate professor of economics, Steven C Myers, Ph D, is associate professor of economics, and Dennis M Byrne, Ph D, is professor of economics at The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325]
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  • Steven C Myers,

    1. [Randall H King, Ph D, is associate professor of economics, Steven C Myers, Ph D, is associate professor of economics, and Dennis M Byrne, Ph D, is professor of economics at The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325]
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  • Dennis M Byrne

    1. [Randall H King, Ph D, is associate professor of economics, Steven C Myers, Ph D, is associate professor of economics, and Dennis M Byrne, Ph D, is professor of economics at The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325]
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  • They wish to thank William Hendon, Emily Hoffman, V Joseph Hotz, Frank Mott, and Richard Stratton for many helpful comments

Abstract

Abstract A demand model was developed and applied to a nationally representative sample of unmarried, pregnant teenagers drawn from the National Longitudinal Surveys in order to identify the economic determinants of abortion Measures of the opportunity costs of pregnancy were found to play a major role in the individual's decision to give birth or to abort Economic variables in the analysis included predicted wages, local area unemployment rates, other family income, poverty status, and school enrollment status Other factors found to be significant were age, ethnicity, and religiosity In general, young women in favorable economic circumstances were substantially more likely than others to abort a pregnancy

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