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Job market paper

Abortion Costs and Single Parenthood: A Life-Cycle Model of Fertility and Partnership

I construct and estimate a life-cycle model of fertility and partnership behavior to examine the relationship between abortion policy and single parenthood. In addition to the direct effects of policy on abortion decisions and sexual behavior, the model nests two channels relating abortion costs to partnership that have been discussed in the literature. First, upon becoming pregnant, a woman may realize information about the father's commitment to a relationship. A change in abortion policy impacts the number of women who become pregnant and realize such information. Second, abortion policy impacts competition in the market for partners. In a model of dynamic partnership transitions and fertility decisions, these mechanisms may have immediate effects on behavior and outcomes as well as effects that manifest over time.