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The Costs and Consequences of Teenage Childbearing for Mothers

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  • V. Joseph Hotz
  • Susan Williams McElroy
  • Seth G. Sanders

Abstract

We examine the effects of the failure of teen mothers to delay their childbearing on their subsequent behavior and socioeconomic attainment. We estimate these causal effects by exploiting an innovative evaluation design in which women who first become pregnant as teenagers but who experience a miscarriage are used to form a control group with which to compare women who have their first births as teens. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we find that many of the claims concerning the adverse consequences of the failure of teen mothers to delay their childbearing are not supported by the data. Finally, we investigate the extent to which teen childbearing and the failure to postpone births among teen mothers result in higher costs to government. We investigate what women who first became teen mothers in United States in 1993 would be expected to cost government in their greater use of the AFDC, Food Stamp and Medicaid programs and through losses in taxes they would pay.

Suggested Citation

  • V. Joseph Hotz & Susan Williams McElroy & Seth G. Sanders, 1995. "The Costs and Consequences of Teenage Childbearing for Mothers," Working Papers 9501, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:har:wpaper:9501
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    Cited by:

    1. R. Haveman & B. Wolfe & E. Peterson, "undated". "The Intergenerational Effects of Early Childbearing," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1071-95, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    2. David Ribar, 1996. "The effects of teenage fertility on young adult childbearing," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(2), pages 197-218, June.
    3. McElroy, Susan Williams, 1996. "Early childbearing, high school completion, and college enrollment: Evidence from 1980 high school sophomores," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 303-324, June.
    4. Miller, Robert A. & Sanders, Seth G., 1997. "Human capital development and welfare participation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-43, June.

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