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Health Outcomes for Children Born to Teen Mothers in Cape Town, South Africa

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  • Nicola Branson
  • Cally Ardington
  • Murray Leibbrandt

Abstract

This article analyzes whether children born to teen mothers in Cape Town, South Africa, are disadvantaged in terms of their health outcomes because their mother is a teen. Exploiting the longitudinal nature of the Cape Area Panel Study, we assess whether observable differences between teen mothers and slightly older mothers can explain why firstborn children of teen mothers appear disadvantaged. Our balanced regressions indicate that observed characteristics cannot explain the full extent of the disadvantage of being born to a teen mother, with children born to teen mothers continuing to have significantly worse child health outcomes, especially among Coloured children. In particular, children born to teens are more likely to be underweight at birth and to be stunted, with the disadvantage for Coloured children four times that for African children.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicola Branson & Cally Ardington & Murray Leibbrandt, 2015. "Health Outcomes for Children Born to Teen Mothers in Cape Town, South Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(3), pages 589-616.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:doi:10.1086/679737
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrea Ichino & Fabrizia Mealli & Tommaso Nannicini, 2008. "From temporary help jobs to permanent employment: what can we learn from matching estimators and their sensitivity?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 305-327.
    2. Marco Francesconi, 2008. "Adult Outcomes for Children of Teenage Mothers," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(1), pages 93-117, March.
    3. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
    4. Jason M. Fletcher & Barbara L. Wolfe, 2009. "Education and Labor Market Consequences of Teenage Childbearing: Evidence Using the Timing of Pregnancy Outcomes and Community Fixed Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
    5. Vimal Ranchhod & David Lam & Murray Leibbrandt & Leticia Marteleto, 2011. "Estimating the effect of adolescent fertility on educational attainment in Cape Town using a propensity score weighted regression," SALDRU Working Papers 59, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
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    Cited by:

    1. Leticia Marteleto & Molly Dondero, 2013. "Maternal age at first birth and adolescent education in Brazil," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 28(28), pages 793-820, April.
    2. Cally Ardington & Boingotlo Gasealahwe, 2012. "Health: Analysis of the NIDS Wave 1 and 2 Datasets," SALDRU Working Papers 80, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    3. Nicola Branson & Tanya Byker, 2016. "Causes and Consequences of Teen Childbearing: Evidence from a Reproductive Health Intervention in South Africa," SALDRU Working Papers 166, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    4. Gunes, Pinar & Tsaneva, Magda, 2016. "The Effects of Early Pregnancy on Education, Physical Health and Mental Distress: Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers 2016-14, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.

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