Saturday, August 02, 2014

Behavioral/Ideological Selection?

An interesting question:  Suppose all the people who believe abortion is okay to use as birth control actually do that.  And don't have kids.

And the people who disagree...DO have kids.

Over time, might the composition of the electorate change?

Differential Fertility as a Determinant of Trends in Public Opinion about Abortion in the United States 

Alex Kevern & Jeremy Freese 
Northwestern University Working Paper, July 2014 

Abstract: Differential fertility is frequently overlooked as a meaningful force in longitudinal public opinion change. We examine the effect of fertility on abortion attitudes, a useful case study due to their strong correlation with family size and high parent-child correlation. We test the hypothesis that the comparatively high fertility of pro-life individuals has led to a more pro-life population using 34 years of GSS data (1977-2010). We find evidence that the abortion attitudes have lagged behind a liberalizing trend of other correlated attitudes, and consistent evidence that differential fertility between pro-life and pro-choice individuals has had a significant effect on this pattern. Future studies should account for differential fertility as a meaningful force of cohort replacement in studies of public opinion where parents and children are likely to share the same attitude. 

Nod to Kevin Lewis

1 comment:

BruceB said...

"...people who believe abortion is okay to use as birth control.."

I've seen this phrasing before and find it curious. What else is it used for? Is there a "more okay" use for it? Does it change your post if you drop the "to use as birth control"?