The Effect of Abortion Legalization on Fertility, Marriage, and Long-term Outcomes for Women

Prof. Judit Val Castelló, Center for Research in Health and Economics (CRES), Universitat Pompeu Fabra

This paper evaluates the short and long-term effects on women of the Spanish legalization of abortion in 1985. Using birth records and survey data, we find robust evidence that the legalization led to an immediate decrease in the number of births to women aged 21 or younger. We also find evidence suggesting a decrease in early marriages. We then test whether the affected cohorts of women, who were able to postpone fertility and marriage as a result of the legalization of abortion, achieved higher educational attainment and better labor market outcomes in the long-term. Using data from the European Community Household Panel and the Spanish Labor Force Survey and two alternative specifications, we find evidence that the affected cohorts were more likely to participate in the labor market and had higher incomes 10 to 15 years after the legal reform.



About the speaker

Judit Val Castelló is a Research Director at the Centre for Research in Economics and Health Pompeu Fabra University (UPF). She is an applied economist specialized in econometric and quantitative methods analysis.

Her current research concentrates on the impact of Social Policy and Pensions systems on labor market decisions as well as on health outcomes. She has also studied the effects of labor promotion measures for disabled workers.

As researcher, Judit Val Castelló was part of two projects at the University of Cambridge and she has also worked on several European Union projects in the fields of social protection, economic and financial integration, culture and education. she has taught in universities in Spain (UPF and Girona), The Netherlands and Mexico. 

Judit Val Castelló was a pre-doctoral Marie Curie Research Fellow in the European PhD on Social Protection Policy at Maastricht University where she received her PhD in July 2010 and has spent research visiting periods at the Institute for Economic and Social Research of the University of Essex, at the Toulouse School of Economics and at the State University of New York at Stony Brook with a Fulbright-Schuman grant. She was awarded a one-year Robert Solow Postdoctoral Fellowship at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. She is a Research Fellow at IZA and is part of several international projects (NBER, UNICEF).



Venue: Conference room (0.16 & 0.17)

Date: 16 February 2017

Time: 12:00 - 13:00


UNU-MERIT