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The costs and Consequences of Early Fatherhood: The Impact on Young Men, Young Women and Their Children


  • Michael J. Brien
  • Robert J. Willis


What consequences are borne by young men entering fatherhood as teenagers or when their partners are teenagers? This chapter focuses on a range of outcomes for the father himself. In particular, we will examine the role of teen childbearing on human capital accumulation (e.g., educational achievement) and labor market outcomes (e.g., earnings and labor supply). In addition, we shall consider associated costs for the child and for the larger society. The children of teenage fathers are affected, for example, through the level of support provided by these young men. Many possible social consequences of teenage childbearing, including its impact on criminal activities and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, we do not attempt to examine. Rather, our focus is on the extent to which teen fatherhood and associated decisions concerning marriage and child support affect public tax burdens both directly in the form of income taxes paid by the teen father over his lifetime and indirectly through the substitution of public for private expenditure on the child via public support such as Aid to Families of Dependent Children (AFDC). Our goal is to determine the consequences of teenage fatherhood in both the short and long term and to consider how these consequences interact with decisions about marriage and contributions of resources by both parents and by the state in behalf of the child.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael J. Brien & Robert J. Willis, 1995. "The costs and Consequences of Early Fatherhood: The Impact on Young Men, Young Women and Their Children," Working Papers 9502, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:har:wpaper:9502

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    Cited by:

    1. Lingxin Hao & V. Joseph Hotz & Ginger Zhe Jin, 2000. "Games Daughters and Parents Play: Teenage Childbearing, Parental Reputation, and Strategic Transfers," NBER Working Papers 7670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.


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