Silvie Colman

Health Researcher
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
600 Alexander Park
Princeton, NJ 08540
Phone (609) 750-4094

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

February 2013Do Parental Involvement Laws Deter Risky Teen Sex?
with Thomas S. Dee, Theodore J. Joyce: w18810
Parental involvement (PI) laws require that physicians notify or obtain consent from a parent(s) of a minor seeking an abortion before performing the procedure. Several studies suggest that PI laws curb risky sexual behavior because teens realize that they would be compelled to discuss a subsequent pregnancy with a parent. We show that prior evidence based on gonorrhea rates overlooked the frequent under-reporting of gonorrhea by race and ethnicity, and present new evidence on the effects of PI laws using more current data on the prevalence of gonorrhea and data that are novel to this literature (i.e., chlamydia rates and data disaggregated by year of age). We improve the credibility of our estimates over those in the existing literature using an event-study design in addition to standard ...

Published: Colman, Silvie & Dee, Thomas S. & Joyce, Ted, 2013. "Do parental involvement laws deter risky teen sex?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 873-880. citation courtesy of

March 2010Regulating Abortion: Impact on Patients and Providers in Texas
with Theodore J. Joyce: w15825
The state of Texas began enforcement of the Woman's Right to Know (WRTK) Act on January 1, 2004. The law requires that all abortions at 16 weeks gestation or later be performed in an ambulatory surgical center (ASC). In the month the law went into effect, not one of Texas's 54 non-hospital abortion providers met the requirements of a surgical center. The effect was immediate and dramatic. The number of abortions performed in Texas at 16 weeks gestation or later dropped 88 %, from 3642 in 2003 to 446 in 2004, while the number of residents who left the state for a late abortion almost quadrupled. By 2006, an ASC had opened in 4 major cities down from 9 in 2003 but the abortion rate 16 weeks or more gestation remained 50 percent below its pre-Act level. Regulations of abortion providers...

Published: Colman, Silvie and Ted Joyce. 2011. “Regulatin g Abortion: Impact on Pa tients and Providers in Texas." Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 30(4):775-797. citation courtesy of

October 2006Methodological Issues in the Evaluation of Parental Involvement Laws: Evidence from Texas
with Theodore J. Joyce, Robert Kaestner: w12608
The number of states that require parental involvement in a minor's decision to terminate a pregnancy has more than doubled since 1988. Congress is currently considering legislation that would further limit access to abortion for minors who reside in states that enforce parental involvement laws. So far, the academic literature has not reached a consensus as to the impact of such abortion restrictions, mainly due to methodological limitations caused by the inability to measure cross-state travel and misclassification of exposure. Using detailed data on abortions and births from Texas, we demonstrate that these limitations led researchers to overestimate the decline in minors' abortion rate, underestimate the increase in their birth rate, and to miss an important behavioral response to t...
September 2004The Changing Association Between Prenatal Participation in WIC and Birth Outcomes in New York City
with Ted Joyce, Diane Gibson: w10796
We analyze the relationship between prenatal WIC participation and birth outcomes in New York City from 1988-2001. The analysis is unique for several reasons. First, we restrict the analysis to women on Medicaid and or WIC who have no previous live births and who initiate prenatal care within the first four months of pregnancy. Our goal is to lessen heterogeneity between WIC and non-WIC participants by limiting the sample to women who initiate prenatal care early and who have no experience with WIC from a previous pregnancy. Second, we focus on measures of fetal growth distinct from preterm birth, since there is little clinical support for a link between nutritional supplementation and premature delivery. Third, we analyze a large sub-sample of twin deliveries. Multifetal pregnancies incre...

Published: Joyce, T., Gibson, D. and S. Colman. “The Changing Association between Prenatal Participation in WIC and Birth Outcomes in New York City.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 24, 4 (2005): 663-685.

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