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The Costs of Teenage Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing: Analysis with a Within-School Propensity Score

  • Levine, David I.
  • Painter, Gary

Teen out-of-wedlock mothers have lower education and earnings than peers who have children later. This study uses the National Educational Longitudinal Survey of 1988 (NELS) to examine the extent to which the apparent effects of out-of-wedlock teen fertility are due to pre- existing disadvantages of the young women and their families. We use a novel method that matches teen mothers to similar young women in their junior high school (that is, prior to pregnancy). We find that out-of-wedlock fertility reduces education substantially, although far less than the cross-sectional comparisons of means suggest. We further find that this effect is largest among those with the lowest probability of having a child out of wedlock.

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Paper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt2fr4259q.

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Date of creation: 08 Jun 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt2fr4259q
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  1. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen & Michael L. Katz, 1996. "An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 277-317.
  2. V. Joseph Hotz & Susan Williams McElroy & Seth G. Sanders, 1999. "Teenage Childbearing and Its Life Cycle Consequences: Exploiting a Natural Experiment," JCPR Working Papers 157, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  3. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-experimental Causal Studies," NBER Working Papers 6829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gary Chamberlain, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 225-238.
  5. Ribar, D., 1991. "Teenage Fertility and High Scholl Completion," Papers 10-91-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  6. V. Joseph Hotz & Charles H. Mullin & Seth G. Sanders, 1997. "Bounding Causal Effects Using Data from a Contaminated Natural Experiment: Analysing the Effects of Teenage Childbearing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 575-603.
  7. Saul Hoffman & E. Foster & Frank Furstenberg, 1993. "Reevaluating the costs of teenage childbearing: Response to Geronimus and Korenman," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 30(2), pages 291-296, May.
  8. Arline Geronimus & Sanders Korenman, 1993. "The socioeconomic costs of teenage childbearing: Evidence and interpretation," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 30(2), pages 281-290, May.
  9. Arline T. Geronimus & Sanders Korenman, 1992. "The Socioeconomic Consequences of Teen Childbearing Reconsidered," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1187-1214.
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