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Adolescent Fertility in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Effects and Solutions - Working Paper 295

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  • Amanda Glassman, Kate McQueston, and Rachel Silverman

Abstract

Adolescent fertility in low- and middle-income countries presents a severe impediment to development and can lead to school dropout, lost productivity, and the intergenerational transmission of poverty. However, there is debate about whether adolescent pregnancy is a problem in and of itself or merely symptomatic of deeper, ingrained disadvantage. To inform policy choices and create a revised research agenda for population and development, this paper aggregates recent quantitative evidence on the socioeconomic consequences of and methods to reduce of teenage pregnancy in the developing world. The review finds variable results for all indicator types with the partial exception of knowledge-based indicators, which increased in response to almost all evaluating interventions, though it is not clear that such interventions necessarily lead to short- or long term-behavior change. The evidence base supporting the effectiveness of conditional cash transfers was relatively strong in comparison to other interventions. Similarly, programs that lowered barriers to attending school or increased the opportunity cost of school absence are also supported by the literature. On the basis of these findings, the authors argue that donors should adopt a rights-based approach to adolescent fertility and shift their focus from the proximate to distal causes of pregnancy, including human rights abuses, gender inequality, child marriage, and socioeconomic marginalization. Further research should be conducted to strengthen the evidence base by 1) establishing causality, 2) understanding the differential impacts of adolescent fertility in different contexts, and 3) investigating other the impact of adolescent fertility on other socioeconomic outcomes, such as labor participation, productivity, and the intergenerational transmission of poverty

Suggested Citation

  • Amanda Glassman, Kate McQueston, and Rachel Silverman, 2012. "Adolescent Fertility in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Effects and Solutions - Working Paper 295," Working Papers 295, Center for Global Development.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:295
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    File URL: http://www.cgdev.org/files/1426175_file_McQueston_Silverman_Glassman_AdolescentFertility_FINAL.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Guy Stecklov & Paul Winters & Jessica Todd & Ferdinando Regalia, 2006. "Demographic Externalities from Poverty Programs in Developing Countries: Experimental Evidence from Latin America," Working Papers 2006-01, American University, Department of Economics.
    2. Sarah Baird & Ephraim Chirwa & Craig McIntosh & Berk Özler, 2010. "The short‐term impacts of a schooling conditional cash transfer program on the sexual behavior of young women," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(S1), pages 55-68, September.
    3. Portner, Claus C & Beegle, Kathleen & Christiaensen, Luc, 2011. "Family planning and fertility : estimating program effects using cross-sectional data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5812, The World Bank.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ali,Daniel Ayalew & Deininger,Klaus W. & Kemper,Niels Gerd, 2015. "Pronatal property rights over land and fertility outcomes : evidence from a natural experiment in Ethiopia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7419, The World Bank.
    2. Aynur Pala, 2014. "Does Higher Education Reduce Poverty among Youths in Nigeria?," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 4(1), pages 1-19, January.
    3. World Bank Group, 2015. "Toward Solutions for Youth Employment," World Bank Other Operational Studies 23261, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Adolescent; Youth; Young Adult; Fertility; Child-Bearing; Education; Schooling; Human Capital; Productivity; Family Planning; Scholarship Program; Cash Transfer; School based intervention; Evidencebased practice.;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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