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Updating the Teen Miscarriage Experiment: Are the Effects of a Teen Birth Becoming More Negative?


  • Saul D. Hoffman

    () (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)


A reanalysis of the Hotz, McElroy, and Sanders research on the impact of a teen birth on socio-economic outcomes shows that their data set, which includes information on outcomes at older ages only for teen mothers with the earliest calendar year births, is partly responsible for their unexpected findings. Even more interestingly, I find that the impacts of a teen birth differ substantially between the teen mothers who had births in the early to mid 1970s and those who had births in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The mostly positive effects found by Hotz, McElroy, and Sanders hold only for the first group, while impacts are far more negative for the later ones. This tentatively suggests that teen birth effects, even those found using the teen miscarriage methodology, may be more negative than recently reported and also that the estimates from Hotz, McElroy, and Sanders may not be fully relevant for assessing the impact of a teen birth for today’s young women. Because these new estimates are based on smaller samples with fewer miscarriages, the findings should be interpreted cautiously.

Suggested Citation

  • Saul D. Hoffman, 2008. "Updating the Teen Miscarriage Experiment: Are the Effects of a Teen Birth Becoming More Negative?," Working Papers 08-08, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:dlw:wpaper:08-08.

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    Cited by:

    1. Melissa Schettini Kearney, 2010. "Teen Pregnancy Prevention," NBER Chapters,in: Targeting Investments in Children: Fighting Poverty When Resources are Limited, pages 221-247 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. repec:spr:demogr:v:54:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0600-4 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Teen; Teen Fertility;

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth


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