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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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File URL: http://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/2fr4259q.pdf;origin=repeccitec
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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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Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/iir_iirwps/

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  1. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 2002. "Propensity score matching methods for non-experimental causal studies," Discussion Papers 0102-14, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  2. Saul Hoffman & E. Foster & Frank Furstenberg, 1993. "Reevaluating the costs of teenage childbearing: Response to Geronimus and Korenman," Demography, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 291-296, May.
  3. Geronimus, Arline T & Korenman, Sanders, 1992. "The Socioeconomic Consequences of Teen Childbearing Reconsidered," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1187-214, November.
  4. V. Joseph Hotz & Susan Williams McElroy & Seth G. Sanders, 2005. "Teenage Childbearing and Its Life Cycle Consequences: Exploiting a Natural Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
  5. Arline Geronimus & Sanders Korenman, 1993. "The socioeconomic costs of teenage childbearing: Evidence and interpretation," Demography, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 281-290, May.
  6. Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
  7. Ribar, David C, 1994. "Teenage Fertility and High School Completion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 413-24, August.
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