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Access to abortion, investments in neonatal health, and sex-selection: evidence from Nepal

Valente, C. (2011) Access to abortion, investments in neonatal health, and sex-selection: evidence from Nepal. Working Paper. Department of Economics, University of Sheffield ISSN 1749-8368


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Every year, over 9 million children die under the age of five in developing countries, where the abortion regime is generally very restrictive. Evidence from the United States suggests that abortion liberalization may be a powerful policy tool in the fight against mortality in early life. In this paper, I consider the impact of providing affordable, legal abortion facilities in the high-fertility, high-mortality context of Nepal, on pregnancy outcomes, antenatal and perinatal health inputs, neonatal mortality, and sex-selection. In order to exploit geographical and time variation in coverage, I combine fertility histories with a unique data set recording geo-referenced coordinates and registration dates of newly introduced legal abortion centers. Consistent with the prediction that proximity to a legal abortion center reduces the cost of abortion, I find that the probability of a pregnancy ending in a live birth decreases by 8.1 percent, for a given mother. However, there is no evidence that improved access to abortion increases observed investments in antenatal and prenatal care or unobserved investments favorable to neonatal survival. Access to these legal, fist-trimester abortion centers does not appear to have led to more sex-selective terminations.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: The Sheffield Economics Research Paper (SERP) series offers a forum for the research output of the academic staff and research students of the Department of Economics, University of Sheffield. Papers are reviewed for quality and presentation by a departmental editor. However, the contents and opinions expressed remain the responsibility of the authors. All papers may be downloaded free on the understanding that the contents are preliminary and therefore permission from the author(s) should be sought before they are referenced.
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Economics (Sheffield) > Sheffield Economics Research Papers Series
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2011 15:54
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2014 13:18
Published Version: http://www.shef.ac.uk/economics/research/serps/yea...
Status: Published
Publisher: Department of Economics, University of Sheffield
Identification Number: Sheffield Economic Research Paper Series 2011006
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43080

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