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Are there neighbourhood effects on teenage parenthood in the UK, and does it matter for policy? A review of theory and evidence

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  • Dylan Kneale
  • Ruth Lupton

Abstract

This paper is a forerunner to an empirical study of neighbourhood effects on teenage parenthood using the British Cohort Study (BCS70). It reviews evidence for the existence of such effects within the quantitative 'neighbourhood effects' literature. It also draws on the wider literature on teenage parenthood to identify three explanatory frameworks for the phenomenon (opportunity costs, differential values and social networks), and to examine the qualitative and quantitative evidence that these mechanisms vary over space in ways that create distinctive 'place effects' at different spatial scales. We conclude that while there is good reason to believe that neighbourhood and wider area influences might be associated with planned or unplanned teenage pregnancies and with the propensity to continue to parenthood, statistical evidence is mixed, and relatively sparse for the UK. Policy makers need to draw on the wider body of literature, including qualitative studies and practitioner knowledge as well as 'hard' proof of neighbourhood effects. Finally we consider implications for policy. We critically interrogate the notion that area effects and area-based policies are necessarily related and instead offer some more specific conclusions as to what the evidence implies (and does not imply) for the purpose and design of policy interventions.

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File URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/case/cp/CASEpaper141.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE in its series CASE Papers with number case141.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cep:sticas:case141

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Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/case/_new/publications/default.asp

Related research

Keywords: neighbourhood; neighbourhood effects; area effects; teenage parenthood;

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References

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  1. V. Joseph Hotz & Susan Williams McElroy & Seth G. Sanders, 1999. "Teenage Childbearing and Its Life Cycle Consequences: Exploiting a Natural Experiment," JCPR Working Papers 157, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  2. Kaplan, Greg & Goodman, Alissa & Walker, Ian, 2004. "Understanding the Effects of Early Motherhood in Britain: The Effects on Mothers," IZA Discussion Papers 1131, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. repec:ese:iserwp:2000-26 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Emilia Del Bono, 2004. "Pre-Marital Fertility and Labour Market Opportunities: Evidence from the 1970 British Cohort Study," Economics Series Working Papers 202, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  5. Marco Francesconi, 2008. "Adult Outcomes for Children of Teenage Mothers," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(1), pages 93-117, 03.
  6. Kathleen E Kiernan, 2003. "Cohabitation and divorce across nations and generations," CASE Papers case65, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  7. repec:ese:iserwp:2000-24 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Carol Propper & Kelvyn Jones & Anne Bolster & Simon Burgess & Ron Johnston & Rebecca Sarker, 2004. "Local Neighbourhood and Mental Health: Evidence from the UK," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/099, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  9. Dylan Kneale & Heather Joshi, 2008. "Postponement and childlessness - Evidence from two British cohorts," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(58), pages 1935-1968, November.
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