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Teen pregnancy: government programs are not the cause


  • Rebecca Blank


Public assistance payments have been blamed for increases in out-ofwedlock birth rates among teenagers and other women. The data indicate that rising nonmarital birth rates are primarily caused by a decline in fertility among married women, combined with a growing share of unmarried women in the population. Existing research suggests that these changes have not been driven by public assistance payments; instead they are related to economic and social changes affecting women of all income levels. While hard to predict the effect of eliminating public assistance for teen mothers, it is likely that many teen pregnancies will continue to occur. Other ways to address this problem are discussed at the end of the paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Rebecca Blank, 1995. "Teen pregnancy: government programs are not the cause," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 47-58.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:1:y:1995:i:2:p:47-58 DOI: 10.1080/714042231

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    Cited by:

    1. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Jane Waldfogel, 2000. "Understanding Young Women's Marriage Decisions: The Role of Labor and Marriage Market Conditions," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(4), pages 624-647, July.
    2. Price V. Fishback & Michael R. Haines & Shawn Kantor, 2002. "The Welfare of Children During the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 8902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Price V. Fishback & Michael R. Haines & Shawn Kantor, 2007. "Births, Deaths, and New Deal Relief during the Great Depression," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 1-14, February.
    4. Francine D. Blau, 1998. "Trends in the Well-Being of American Women, 1970-1995," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 112-165, March.
    5. Martha MacDonald, 1998. "Gender and Social Security Policy: Pitfalls and Possibilities," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 1-25.
    6. Robert Cherry, 1998. "Rational Choice and the Price of Marriage," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 27-49.

    More about this item


    Poverty; teen pregnancy; welfare;


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