Posted on 21 November 2017
Johanna Reuter has been awarded the prize for the best 1st year summer project in 2017 for her paper titled “Does the availability of emergency contraception pill affect abortion rates?” The paper develops a simple but insightful theoretical model, which allows to understand the economic trade-offs of the liberalisation of emergency contraception. She shows that the effect of lowering the cost of emergency contraception on abortions is unclear. While emergency contraception could serve as an insurance against unwanted pregnancies and therefore reduce abortions, it could also decrease “normal” contraception effort and could therefore backfire. She then proposes a clever empirical strategy exploiting a reform in in Germany, that made all emergency contraception pills available over the counter. The reform introduces a discontinuity in the cost of emergency contraception. She collected data on abortion rates and shows no effect of the reform on abortions. She also provides some evidence of the effects on contraception effort, by looking at the number of syphilis cases, but find no conclusive evidence.
Congratulations for an excellent job.