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Title: Subsidizing Sesame Street: An Empirical Analysis of the Relationship Between Pre-K Access and the Abortion Rate
Authors: Endres, Erin
Advisors: Zidar, Owen
Department: Economics
Class Year: 2020
Abstract: Nearly fifty years have passed since abortion was first legalized in the landmark Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade, and yet, abortion remains as divisive and hotly contested a topic as ever. Politicians, eager to appease abortion proponents and opponents alike, have increasingly gravitated towards a “compromise” position, in which abortion remains legal, but measures to lower the overall abortion rate are pursued. Existing economic models of fertility suggest that, when childcare costs decrease, birth rates increase. However, it is unclear whether decreases in childcare costs cause abortion rates to decrease as well. I investigate the relationship between childcare costs and abortion incidence using data on state abortion rates and funding of pre-kindergarten. I employ pre-kindergarten funding dollars as a proxy for free/subsidized childcare access, and analyze the relationship between funding and abortion rates via fixed effects and instrumental variable models. My results suggest that expanded pre-kindergarten access has a negative, albeit miniscule, impact on the abortion rate.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Economics, 1927-2022

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