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Alcohol use and pregnancies among youth: Evidence from a semi-parametric approach


  • Inna Cintina

    () (University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, Research Analyst and Junior Specialist)


Despite a well-established correlation between alcohol intake and various risk-taking sexual behaviors, the causality remains unknown. I model the effect of alcohol use on the likelihood of pregnancy among youth using a variety of estimation techniques. The preference is given to the semi-parametric model where the cumulative distribution of heterogeneity is approximated by a 4-point discrete distribution. Using data on 17-28 year-old women from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, I find that alcohol consumption increases the likelihood of pregnancy by 4.7 percentage points. Quantitatively similar but statistically weaker effects were found in the fully parametric models such as the two-stage least squares model and the bivariate probit model. Finally, the fully parametric models that ignore the effect of unobserved heterogeneity failed to establish this relationship.

Suggested Citation

  • Inna Cintina, 2011. "Alcohol use and pregnancies among youth: Evidence from a semi-parametric approach," Working Papers 2011-7, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
  • Handle: RePEc:hae:wpaper:2011-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mroz, Thomas A., 1999. "Discrete factor approximations in simultaneous equation models: Estimating the impact of a dummy endogenous variable on a continuous outcome," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 233-274, October.
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    8. Ana I. Gil Lacruz & Marta Gil Lacruz & Juan Oliva, 2009. "Are Drinkers Prone to Engage in Risky Sexual Behaviors?," Working Papers 2009-32, FEDEA.
    9. Rees, Daniel I. & Argys, Laura M. & Averett, Susan L., 2001. "New evidence on the relationship between substance use and adolescent sexual behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 835-845, September.
    10. William Greene, 1998. "Gender Economics Courses in Liberal Arts Colleges: Comment," Working Papers 98-06, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item


    alcohol; minimum legal drinking age; teenage pregnancy; discrete-time hazard model;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy


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