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Education and Labor Market Consequences of Teenage Childbearing: Evidence Using the Timing of Pregnancy Outcomes and Community Fixed Effects

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  • Jason M. Fletcher
  • Barbara L. Wolfe

Abstract

The question of whether giving birth as a teenager has negative economic consequences for the mother remains controversial despite substantial research. In this paper, we build upon existing literature, especially the literature that uses the experience of teenagers who had a miscarriage as the appropriate comparison group. We show that miscarriages are not random events, but rather are likely correlated with (unobserved) community-level factors, casting some doubt on previous findings. Including community-level fixed effects in our specifications lead to important changes in our estimates. By making use of information on the timing of miscarriages as well as birth control choices preceding the teenage pregnancies we construct more relevant control groups for teenage mothers. We find evidence that teenage childbearing likely reduces the probability of receiving a high school diploma by 5 to 10 percentage points, reduces annual income as a young adult by $1,000 to $2,400, and may increase the probability of receiving cash assistance and decrease years of schooling.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 44 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:44:y:2009:i2:p303-325

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Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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References

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  1. Saul D. Hoffman, 2003. "The Socio-Economic Effects of Teen Childbearing Re-Considered: A Re-Analysis of the Teen Miscarriage Experiment," Working Papers 03-08, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  2. V. Joseph Hotz & Seth G. Sanders & Susan Williams McElroy, 1999. "Teenage Childbearing and Its Life Cycle Consequences: Exploiting a Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. An, Chong-Bum & Haveman, Robert & Wolfe, Barbara, 1993. "Teen Out-of-Wedlock Births and Welfare Receipt: The Role of Childhood Events and Economic Circumstances," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 195-208, May.
  4. Geronimus, Arline T & Korenman, Sanders, 1992. "The Socioeconomic Consequences of Teen Childbearing Reconsidered," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1187-214, November.
  5. Ribar, David C, 1994. "Teenage Fertility and High School Completion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 413-24, August.
  6. Wolfe, Barbara & Wilson, Kathryn & Haveman, Robert, 2001. "The role of economic incentives in teenage nonmarital childbearing choices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 473-511, September.
  7. Barbara Wolfe & Robert Haveman & Karen Pence & Jonathan Schwabish, 2007. "Do youth nonmarital childbearing choices reflect income and relationship expectations?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 73-100, February.
  8. Adam Ashcraft & Kevin Lang, 2006. "The Consequences of Teenage Childbearing," NBER Working Papers 12485, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. David C. Ribar, 1999. "The socioeconomic consequences of young women's childbearing: Reconciling disparate evidence," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 547-565.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Should your government provide free emergency contraception to young girls?
    by Berk Ozler in Development Impact on 2013-01-28 06:11:52
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Cited by:
  1. Murat G. Kýrdar & Meltem Dayýoglu Tayfur & Ýsmet Koç, 2010. "The Effect of Compulsory Schooling Laws on Teenage Marriage and Births in Turkey," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1035, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
  2. Kruger, Diana & Berthelon, Matias & Navia, Rodrigo, 2009. "Adolescent Motherhood and Secondary Schooling in Chile," IZA Discussion Papers 4552, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Jason Fletcher, 2012. "The effects of teenage childbearing on the short- and long-term health behaviors of mothers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 201-218, January.
  4. Nicola Branson & Cally Ardington & Murray Leibbrandt, 2011. "Health outcomes for children born to teen mothers in Cape Town, South Africa," SALDRU Working Papers 55, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  5. Baird, Sarah & Mcintosh, Craig & Ozler, Berk, 2010. "Cash or condition ? evidence from a cash transfer experiment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5259, The World Bank.
  6. Cowan, Benjamin W., 2011. "Forward-thinking teens: The effects of college costs on adolescent risky behavior," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 813-825, October.
  7. Kasey S. Buckles & Elizabeth L. Munnich, 2012. "Birth Spacing and Sibling Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(3), pages 613-642.
  8. Nizalova, Olena Y. & Sliusarenko, Tamara, 2013. "Motherhood Wage Penalty in Times of Transition," IZA Discussion Papers 7810, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Ali, Mir M. & Rizzo, John A. & Amialchuk, Aliaksandr & Heiland, Frank, 2014. "Racial differences in the influence of female adolescents’ body size on dating and sex," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 140-152.
  10. Maria Cancian & Daniel Meyer & Steven Cook, 2011. "The Evolution of Family Complexity from the Perspective of Nonmarital Children," Demography, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 957-982, August.
  11. Kruger, Diana & Berthelon, Matias, 2009. "Delaying the Bell: The Effects of Longer School Days on Adolescent Motherhood in Chile," IZA Discussion Papers 4553, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Carlos Bozzoli, 2010. "A Lost Generation? Long Term Socioeconomic Outcomes in Orphans," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1069, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  13. Kevin Lang & Adam Ashcraft, 2010. "The Consequences of Teenage Childbearing: Consistent Estimates When Abortion Makes Miscarriage Nonrandom," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2010-016, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  14. Berthelon, Matias E. & Kruger, Diana I., 2011. "Risky behavior among youth: Incapacitation effects of school on adolescent motherhood and crime in Chile," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 41-53.
  15. Robert Bifulco & Leonard M. Lopoo & Sun Jung Oh, 2013. "The Effects of School Desegregation on Teenage Fertility," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 157, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  16. Elizabeth Ty Wilde & Lily Batchelder & David T. Ellwood, 2010. "The Mommy Track Divides: The Impact of Childbearing on Wages of Women of Differing Skill Levels," NBER Working Papers 16582, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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