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How Does Adolescent Fertility Affect the Human Capital and Wages of Young Women?

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  • Daniel Klepinger
  • Shelly Lundberg
  • Robert Plotnick

Abstract

We estimate the relationship between teenage childbearing, human capital investment, and wages in early adulthood, using a sample of women from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and a large set of potential instruments for fertility-principally state and county-level indicators of the costs of fertility and fertility control. Adolescent fertility substantially reduces years of formal education and teenage work experience and, for white women only, early adult work experience. Through reductions in human capital, teenage childbearing has a significant effect on market wages at age 25. Our results suggest that public policies which reduce teenage childbearing are likely to have positive effects on the economic well-being of many young mothers.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Klepinger & Shelly Lundberg & Robert Plotnick, 1999. "How Does Adolescent Fertility Affect the Human Capital and Wages of Young Women?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 421-448.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:34:y:1999:i:3:p:421-448
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