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Early teen marriage and future poverty

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  • Gordon Dahl

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Abstract

Both early teen marriage and dropping out of high school have historically been associated with a variety of negative outcomes, including higher poverty rates throughout life. Are these negative outcomes due to pre-existing differences or do they represent the causal effect of marriage and schooling choices? To better understand the true personal and societal consequences, this paper uses an instrumental variables approach which takes advantage of variation in state laws regulating the age at which individuals are allowed to marry, drop out of school, and begin work. The baseline IV estimate indicates that a woman who marries young is 31 percentage points more likely to live in poverty when she is older. Similarly, a woman who drops out of school is 11 percentage points more likely to be poor. The results are robust to a variety of alternative specifications and estimation methods, including LIML estimation and a control function approach. While grouped OLS estimates for the early teen marriage variable are also large, OLS estimates based on individual-level data are small, consistent with a large amount of measurement error.
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Suggested Citation

  • Gordon Dahl, 2010. "Early teen marriage and future poverty," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(3), pages 689-718, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:47:y:2010:i:3:p:689-718
    DOI: 10.1353/dem.0.0120
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1353/dem.0.0120
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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. Andriana Bellou, 2015. "The impact of Internet diffusion on marriage rates: evidence from the broadband market," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(2), pages 265-297, April.
    3. Gordon Dahl, 2010. "Early teen marriage and future poverty," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(3), pages 689-718, August.
    4. Wolfgang Frimmel & Gerald J. Pruckner, 2014. "Birth Weight And Family Status Revisited: Evidence From Austrian Register Data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4), pages 426-445, April.
    5. repec:spr:jopoec:v:30:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00148-017-0632-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Murat G. Kýrdar & Meltem Dayýoðlu & Ýsmet Koç, 2016. "The Effects of Compulsory Schooling Laws on Teenage Marriage and Births in Turkey," Working Papers 2016/01, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
    7. Sarah Baird & Craig McIntosh & Berk Özler, 2011. "Cash or Condition? Evidence from a Cash Transfer Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1709-1753.
    8. Pandey, Shanta, 2017. "Persistent nature of child marriage among women even when it is illegal: The case of Nepal," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 242-247.
    9. Depew, Briggs & Fishback, Price V. & Rhode, Paul W., 2013. "New deal or no deal in the Cotton South: The effect of the AAA on the agricultural labor structure," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 466-486.
    10. Wolfgang Frimmel & Martin Halla & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2014. "Can Pro-Marriage Policies Work? An Analysis of Marginal Marriages," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(4), pages 1357-1379, August.
    11. Rebecca M. Blank & Kerwin Kofi Charles & James M. Sallee, 2009. "A Cautionary Tale about the Use of Administrative Data: Evidence from Age of Marriage Laws," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 128-149, April.
    12. Kasey Buckles & Joseph Price, 2013. "Selection and the Marriage Premium for Infant Health," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(4), pages 1315-1339, August.
    13. Grönqvist, Hans, 2009. "Putting teenagers on the pill: the consequences of subsidized contraception," Working Paper Series 2009:8, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    14. Matthew Collin & Theodore Talbot, 2017. "Do Age-of-Marriage Laws Work? Evidence from a Large Sample of Developing Countries - Working Paper 458," Working Papers 458, Center for Global Development.
    15. Eva Rye Johansen & Helena Skyt Nielsen & Mette Verner, 2018. "Long-term Consequences of Early Parenthood," Economics Working Papers 2018-01, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    16. Ghouse, Ghulam & Zaid, Muhammad, 2016. "Determinants of Low Birth Weight a Cross Sectional Study: In Case of Pakistan," MPRA Paper 70660, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Lehrer, Evelyn L. & Chen, Yu, 2012. "Delayed Entry into First Marriage: Further Evidence on the Becker-Landes-Michael Hypothesis," IZA Discussion Papers 6729, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. repec:eee:wdevel:v:102:y:2018:i:c:p:124-134 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Edlund, Lena & Machado, Cecilia, 2015. "How the other half lived: Marriage and emancipation in the age of the Pill," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 295-309.
    20. Chunbei Wang & Le Wang, 0. "Knot yet: minimum marriage age law, marriage delay, and earnings," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 0, pages 1-34.

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