THE IMPACT OF LEGALIZED ABORTION ON CRIME

THE IMPACT OF LEGALIZED ABORTION ON CRIME - THE IMPACT OF...

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Unformatted text preview: THE IMPACT OF LEGALIZED ABORTION ON CRIME JOHN J. DONOHUE III AND STEVEN D. LEVITT The Quarterly Journal of Economics Vol. CXVI, May 2001 Issue 2 Introduction & Background • Since 1991, the United States has experienced the sharpest drop in murder rates since the end of Prohibition in 1933. Homicide rates have fallen more than 40 percent. • They have offered an array of explanations: the increasing use of incarceration, growth in the number of police, improved policing strategies such as those adopted in New York, declines in the crack cocaine trade, the strong economy, and increased expenditures on victim precautions such as security guards and alarms. • Moreover, the widespread nature of the crime drop argues against explanations such as improved policing techniques since many cities that have not improved their police forces (e.g., Los Angeles) have nonetheless seen enormous crime declines. Abortion • The Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion nationwide potentially . Its the criteria for explaining a large, abrupt, and continuing decrease in crime. The sheer magnitude of the number of abortions performed satisfies the first criterion that any shock underlying the recent drop in crime must be substantial. Seven years after Roe v. Wade, over 1.6 million abortions were being performed annually— almost one abortion for every two live births. Theoretical Impacts of Abortion • Reduction in cohort size • Lower per capita offending rates for affected cohorts...
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This note was uploaded on 02/07/2008 for the course PAM 2150 taught by Professor Evans,t. during the Fall '08 term at Cornell.

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THE IMPACT OF LEGALIZED ABORTION ON CRIME - THE IMPACT OF...

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