Empirical essays on public health and family policies /

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Allen, Brandeanna
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Middle Tennessee State University
This dissertation consists of three chapters on the effects of public health and family policies. The first chapter, "The Impact of Mandatory Delay Laws on Fertility Outcomes," examines the effect of waiting periods and associated counseling requirements for abortions on abortion, birth, and pregnancy rates. I find the laws reduce abortion rates, increases birth rates, and have no effect on pregnancies. Further, the effect of the laws varies by the counseling requirements mandated by the state. The second chapter, "The Effects of Mandatory Delay Laws on Women and Children," analyzes secondary consequences of the laws on women and children. I find the laws increase adoption rates, but they have no effect on child maltreatment. The laws are shown to decrease the number of mentally unhealthy days per state, but they have no effect on female suicides. The third chapter (co-authored with John Nunley and Alan Seals), "The Effects of Joint-Child-Custody Legislation on the Child-Support Receipt of Single Mothers," focuses on whether joint custody affects single mother's child support receipt. Our results show joint custody raises the probability that single mothers receive child support. Further, divorced, single mothers who do not receive welfare benefit the most from joint custody.
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