Papal visits and abortions: evidence from Italy

Farina, Egidio and Pathania, Vikram (2020) Papal visits and abortions: evidence from Italy. Journal of Population Economics, 33 (3). pp. 795-837. ISSN 0933-1433

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We investigate the impact of papal visits to Italian provinces on abortions from 1979 to 2012. Using administrative data, we find a 10–20% decrease in the number of abortions that commences in the 3rd month and persists until the 14th month after the visits. However, we find no significant change in the number of live births. A decline in unintended pregnancies best explains our results. Papal visits generate intense local media coverage, and likely make salient the Catholic Church’s stance against abortions. We show that papal visits lead to increased church attendance, and that the decline in abortions is greater when the Pope mentions abortion in his speeches.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Economics
Depositing User: Vikram Pathania
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2020 08:36
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2020 13:45

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