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The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Child Health Outcomes and Abandonment. Evidence from Romania

Report
Authors Andreea Mitrut
Francois-Charles Wolff
Publisher University of Gothenburg
Place of publication Göteborg
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Economics
Language en
Links hdl.handle.net/2077/26523
Keywords abortion, health, anthropometric outcomes, child abandonment, Romania
Subject categories Economics

Abstract

We use household survey data and a unique census of institutionalized children to analyze the impact of abortion legalization in Romania. We exploit the lift of the abortion ban in December 1989, when communist dictator Ceausescu and his regime were removed from power, to understand its impact on children‟s health at birth and during early childhood and whether the lift of the ban had an immediate impact on child abandonment. We find insignificant estimates for health at birth outcomes and anthropometric z-scores at age 4 and 5, except for the probability of low birth weight which is slightly higher for children born after abortion became legal. Additionally, our findings suggest that the lift of the ban had decreased the number of abandoned children.

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