Faculty Publications

Title

The effects of statutory rape laws on nonmarital teenage childbearing

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Contemporary Economic Policy

Volume

24

Issue

1

First Page

35

Last Page

51

Abstract

Many policy makers view the enforcement of statutory rape laws as a way to reduce teenage childbirths. This article considers whether unmarried teenage girls covered by a state statutory rape law are less likely to give birth than girls who are not covered by a statutory rape law. The presence of statutory rape laws is negatively correlated with nonmarital birthrates for white females but is not a significant predictor for black or Hispanic females. In contrast, the enforcement of statutory rape laws has a deterrent effect on teen childbearing for blacks and Hispanics but not for whites. (JEL J13, K14). © Western Economic Association International 2005.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2006

DOI of published version

10.1093/cep/byj005

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