Abortion stops Crime- from the horse's mouth

Rakesh Bhandari bhandari at phoenix.Princeton.EDU
Mon Aug 23 14:23:25 PDT 1999

Steve Levitt wrote:

>The first assumption, that abortion reduces the number of unwanted children,
>is true virtually by definition. The second assumption, that unwanted
>children are at increased risk for criminal involvement, is supported by
>three decades of academic research.

How much greater risk? He doesn't say. If it's hardly statistically significant, then we can't conclude that crime rates would have been 10% higher if these at risk kids had been born.

And how is unwantedness measured in these three decades of academic research? Is unwantedness as operationalized confounded with anything else, e.g., the poverty of parents? If these unwanted were also not poor, had access to equal education and growing up in dynamic city economies, would they then also have been at a greater risk of becoming criminals?

Yours, Rakesh

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