Essays on the Economics of Reproductive Health Care
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Reproductive health care is the ability to have a satisfying and safe sex life, the capability to reproduce, and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to do so. Access to reproductive health care has improved due to technological advances and information dissemination in the last few decades. However, this access is still heterogeneous and, therefore, not everyone has the same ability to use reproductive technology and control their fertility choices. In this dissertation, I use quasi-experimental methods and non-experimental data to study the health and economic implications of access to reproductive controls in the US. In chapter 2, we study the long-run impacts of access to oral contraception and abortion on women’s education and earnings. We find evidence that access to these reproductive controls improved high school graduation among Black women. We also observe increases in women’s probability of working in a Social Security-covered job in women’s 20s and 30s associated with early access to oral contraception and abortion, but we find no evidence of positive effects on women’s earnings in their 50s. In chapter 3, we evaluate the effects of a Tennessee law enacted in 2015 that requires women to make an additional trip to abortion providers for state-directed counseling at least 48 hours before obtaining an abortion. We find that the introduction of this policy caused increases in the share of abortions obtained during the second trimester, and we find inconclusive evidence of changes in overall abortion rates. Finally, in chapter 4, we study how women’s exposure to targeted regulations to abortion providers (TRAP laws) in adolescence affects their fertility and educational attainment. We find that the exposure to these policies increases Black teen births in states that implemented these policies relative to states without such restrictions. We offer evidence that these impacts are driven by reductions in abortion access, abortion use, and contraception use among Black teens. We further document that adolescent exposure to TRAP laws before age 18 reduces the probability of initiating and completing college.
reproductive health care
family planning policies
Pineda Torres, Mayra Belinda (2022). Essays on the Economics of Reproductive Health Care. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from https : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /197340.