The impact of abortion on crime and crime-related behavior

Randi Hjalmarsson, Andreea Mitrut, Cristian Pop-Eleches

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 1966 abolition and 1989 legalization of abortion in Romania immediately doubled and decreased by about a third the number of births per month, respectively. Comparing birth month cohorts born on either side of the reform cut-offs allows us to cleanly identify the effect of abortion access on crime. For both the abolition and legalization of abortion, we find large and significant effects on the level of crime and risky-behavior related hospitalization, but insignificant effects on crime and hospitalization rates. We conclude with a discussion of what our results say about the mechanisms underlying the crime effects of abortion policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104468
JournalJournal of Public Economics
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Abortion
  • Crime
  • Risky behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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