Abortion Legalization and Crime Rates
Is There a Relationship?
About This Event

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In 2001, John Donohue of Yale University and Steven Levitt of the University of Chicago published a paper entitled “The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime,” in which they argued that legalized abortion in the 1970s significantly contributed to decreased crime in America during the 1990s. The article sparked a fierce controversy which has yet to abate. The controversy further captured public attention when Levitt featured the argument in his bestselling book, Freakonomics. In this AEI event, nearly every economist who has studied whether there is a link between abortion and crime will weigh in on the available empirical evidence, including Professor Donohue and his leading critics. Is there a link between legalized abortion and crime rates? If so, in which direction is it?

12:45 p.m.
Jonathan Klick, AEI and Florida State University
Panel I
Chris Foote, Boston Federal Reserve
Ted Joyce, Baruch College, CUNY
Leo Kahane, California State University
Phillip Levine, Wellesley College
Steve Sailer, The American Conservative
Jonathan Klick, AEI and Florida State University
Panel II
John Donohue, Yale Law School
John R. Lott Jr., AEI
David Paton, Nottingham University Business School
Florenz Plassman, SUNY-Binghamton
Ted Frank, AEI
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  • Ted Frank is a former resident fellow at AEI. He specialized in product liability, class actions, and civil procedure while at AEI. Before joining AEI, Mr. Frank was a litigator from 1995 to 2005 and clerked for the Honorable Frank H. Easterbrook on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Frank has written for law reviews, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and The American Spectator and has testified before Congress multiple times on legal issues. He writes for the award-winning legal blogs PointOfLaw.com and Overlawyered, and the Wall Street Journal has called him a "leading tort-reform advocate."  Mr. Frank was recently elected to membership in the American Law Institute.
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