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Is education the best contraception: The case of teenage pregnancy in England?


  • Girma, Sourafel
  • Paton, David


This paper examines potential explanations for recent declines in teenage pregnancy in England. We estimate panel data models of teenage conception, birth and abortion rates from regions in England. Although point estimates are consistent with the promotion of long acting reversible contraception (LARC) having a negative impact on teenage pregnancy rates, the effects are generally small and statistically insignificant. In contrast, improvements in educational achievement and, to a lesser extent, increases in the non-white proportion of the population are associated with large and statistically significant reductions in teenage pregnancy.

Suggested Citation

  • Girma, Sourafel & Paton, David, 2015. "Is education the best contraception: The case of teenage pregnancy in England?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 1-9.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:131:y:2015:i:c:p:1-9
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.02.040

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joseph J. Sabia, 2006. "Does sex education affect adolescent sexual behaviors and health?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 783-802.
    2. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2006.089169_8 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Melissa S. Kearney & Phillip B. Levine, 2009. "Subsidized Contraception, Fertility, and Sexual Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 137-151, February.
    4. repec:taf:jnlbes:v:30:y:2012:i:2:p:312-325 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Akers, Aletha Y. & Muhammad, Melvin R. & Corbie-Smith, Giselle, 2011. ""When you got nothing to do, you do somebody": A community's perceptions of neighborhood effects on adolescent sexual behaviors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 91-99, January.
    6. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen & Michael L. Katz, 1996. "An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 277-317.
    7. Girma, Sourafel & Paton, David, 2011. "The impact of emergency birth control on teen pregnancy and STIs," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 373-380, March.
    8. Rashad, Inas & Kaestner, Robert, 2004. "Teenage sex, drugs and alcohol use: problems identifying the cause of risky behaviors," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 493-503, May.
    9. Amy Adamczyk & Jacob Felson, 2008. "Fetal Positions: Unraveling the Influence of Religion on Premarital Pregnancy Resolution," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 89(1), pages 17-38.
    10. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-991, October.
    11. Sourafel Girma & David Paton, 2006. "Matching estimates of the impact of over-the-counter emergency birth control on teenage pregnancy," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(9), pages 1021-1032.
    12. Thomas Stratmann, 2008. "Abortion Access and Risky Sex Among Teens: Parental Involvement Laws and Sexually Transmitted Diseases," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 2-21, May.
    13. Gerald S. Oettinger, 1999. "The Effects of Sex Education on Teen Sexual Activity and Teen Pregnancy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 606-635, June.
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