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Community-Wide Job Loss and Teenage Fertility: Evidence From North Carolina

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  • Elizabeth Ananat

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  • Anna Gassman-Pines
  • Christina Gibson-Davis

Abstract

Using North Carolina data for the period 1990–2010, we estimate the effects of economic downturns on the birthrates of 15- to 19-year-olds, using county-level business closings and layoffs as a plausibly exogenous source of variation in the strength of the local economy. We find little effect of job losses on the white teen birthrate. For black teens, however, job losses to 1 % of the working-age population decrease the birthrate by around 2 %. Birth declines start five months after the job loss and then last for more than one year. Linking the timing of job losses and conceptions suggests that black teen births decline because of increased terminations and perhaps also because of changes in prepregnancy behaviors. National data on risk behaviors also provide evidence that black teens reduce sexual activity and increase contraception use in response to job losses. Job losses seven to nine months after conception do not affect teen birthrates, indicating that teens do not anticipate job losses and lending confidence that job losses are “shocks” that can be viewed as quasi-experimental variation. We also find evidence that relatively advantaged black teens disproportionately abort after job losses, implying that the average child born to a black teen in the wake of job loss is relatively more disadvantaged. Copyright Population Association of America 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Elizabeth Ananat & Anna Gassman-Pines & Christina Gibson-Davis, 2013. "Community-Wide Job Loss and Teenage Fertility: Evidence From North Carolina," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(6), pages 2151-2171, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:50:y:2013:i:6:p:2151-2171
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-013-0231-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Adrián Nieto, 2018. "Permanent employment and fertility: The importance of job security and the career costs of childbearing," Discussion Papers 2018/01, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
    2. Daniel Schneider & Orestes Hastings, 2015. "Socioeconomic Variation in the Effect of Economic Conditions on Marriage and Nonmarital Fertility in the United States: Evidence From the Great Recession," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(6), pages 1893-1915, December.
    3. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2018. "When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage Market Value of Young Men," CESifo Working Paper Series 7010, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. repec:dem:demres:v:36:y:2017:i:51 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Lisa Gennetian & Sharon Wolf & Heather Hill & Pamela Morris, 2015. "Intrayear Household Income Dynamics and Adolescent School Behavior," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(2), pages 455-483, April.
    6. David Autor & David Dorn & Gordon Hanson, 2017. "When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage-Market Value of Young Men," NBER Working Papers 23173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Malte Sandner, 2015. "Effects of Early Childhood Intervention on Fertility and Maternal Employment: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 799, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    8. Bellido, Héctor & Marcén, Miriam, 2016. "Fertility and the Business Cycle: The European Case," MPRA Paper 69368, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Autor, David & Dorn, David & Hanson, Gordon, 2017. "When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage-Market Value of Men," CEPR Discussion Papers 11878, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Autor, David & Dorn, David & Hanson, Gordon H., 2018. "When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage-Market Value of Young Men," IZA Discussion Papers 11465, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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    Keywords

    Teen births; Economic downturns; Fertility; Job loss;

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