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Understanding Teenage Fertility, Cohabitation, and Marriage: The Case of Peru

Author

Listed:
  • Favara, Marta

    () (University of Oxford)

  • Lavado, Pablo

    () (Universidad del Pacifico)

  • Sanchez, Alan

    () (GRADE)

Abstract

In this study, we used data from the Young Lives study, which investigates teenage childbearing, marriage, and cohabitation by tracking a cohort of individuals from the ages of 8 to 19 years. While the present analysis does not intend to establish causality, the longitudinal nature of the data allows us to identify the combination of early circumstances and life changes that induce a higher likelihood of these events. The analysis addresses bias both due to reverse causality and community characteristics that are usually unobserved and fixed over time, a strategy that is quite unique in studies of developing countries. About 1 out of 5 females (and 1 out of 20 males) in our sample had at least one child by the age of 19, and 80 percent of them were married or cohabiting. Early marriage/cohabitation is indeed intrinsically related to early pregnancy and largely predicted by the same factors. For females specifically, girls from poor households with an absent parent for a prolonged period have a higher risk of early childbearing. Similarly, girls whose self-efficacy and educational aspirations decrease over time are more at risk of becoming a mother during adolescence. Conversely, school attendance and better school performance predict a lower risk of early pregnancy; our analysis suggests that this is largely because it postpones the first sexual relationship.

Suggested Citation

  • Favara, Marta & Lavado, Pablo & Sanchez, Alan, 2016. "Understanding Teenage Fertility, Cohabitation, and Marriage: The Case of Peru," IZA Discussion Papers 10270, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10270
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    teenage fertility; cohabitation and marriage; Peru; Young Lives; longitudinal data;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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