Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 569–594 | Cite as

Welfare generosity, pregnancies and abortions among unmarried AFDC recipients

  • Laura M. Argys
  • Susan L. Averett
  • Daniel I. Rees

Abstract.

Even before the 1996 overhaul of the U.S. welfare system, a number of states had ended the practice of paying extra benefits to families who have additional children while receiving welfare. Proponents believe that this reform can reduce births to recipients, however many worry that it may encourage women to obtain abortions. Using a sample of unmarried AFDC recipients from the NLSY, we estimate a bivariate probit model of pregnancy and, conditional on becoming pregnant, the probability of abortion. Our results lend some support for the proposition that reducing incremental AFDC benefits will decrease pregnancies without increasing abortions.

JEL classification: I38, J13 
Key words: Welfare, abortion, fertility 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura M. Argys
    • 1
  • Susan L. Averett
    • 2
  • Daniel I. Rees
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Colorado-Denver, Department of Economics, CB 181, P.O.Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364, USA (Fax: +1-303-556-3547; e-mail: largys@castle.cudenver.edu; drees@carbon.cudenver.edu)US
  2. 2.Lafayette College, Department of Economics and Business, Easton, PA 18042-1776, USA (e-mail: averetts@lafvax.lafayette.edu)US

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