The Earned Income Tax Credit and abortion

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8 Scopus citations


Using a panel of states between 1975 and 2005, I examine the relationship between the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and abortion. Results suggest that increases in the EITC are associated with reductions in the overall abortion rate. Specifically, a $1000 increase in the maximum credit is associated with a 7.6% decrease in the overall abortion rate. This effect implies a reduction of approximately 1.6 abortions per 1000 women of childbearing age. I also provide evidence that the reduction in abortions is attributable to a drop in pregnancies, not an increase in the number of births. In other words, women appear to respond to increases in EITC generosity by altering sexual behavior, rather than shifting abortion-birth decisions after a pregnancy occurs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1638-1651
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Science Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011


  • Abortion
  • Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Fertility
  • Panel data methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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