Permissive abortion policy is thought to improve the average well-being of children ever born, as evidenced by recent studies based on 20th century US data. Using 19th century restrictive abortion policy, we demonstrate a more nuanced relationship between policy and child well-being. Despite increased birth rates among abortion-restricted cohorts, we find little evidence of changes in well-being at birth through the standard channel of child selection, consistent with predictions from a generalized model. However, children in these larger cohorts were far more susceptible to mortality from infectious disease throughout childhood, implying different mechanisms linking abortion policy to child well-being.
DATE: Friday, September 8, 2023
TIME: 3:30-5:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Fronczak 444