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Understanding the Effects of Early Motherhood in Britain: The Effects on Mothers

  • Kaplan, Greg

    ()

    (New York University)

  • Goodman, Alissa

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London)

  • Walker, Ian

    ()

    (Lancaster University)

This paper examines the socio-economic consequences of teenage motherhood for a cohort of British women born in 1970. We employ a number of methods to control for observed and unobserved differences between women who gave birth as a teenager and those who do not. We present results from conventional linear regression models, a propensity score matching estimator, and an instrumental variable estimator that uses miscarriage data to control for unobserved characteristics influencing selection into teenage motherhood. We consider the effects on equivalised family income at age 30, and its constituent parts. We find significant negative effects of teenage motherhood using methods that control only for observed characteristics using linear regression or matching methods. However once unobserved heterogeneity is also taken into account, the evidence for large negative effects becomes much less clear-cut. We look at older and younger teenage mothers separately and find that the negative effects are not necessarily stronger for teenagers falling pregnant before age 18 compared with those falling pregnant between 18 and 20, which could further suggest that some of the negative effects of teenage motherhood are temporary.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1131.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: May 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1131
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  1. V. Joseph Hotz & Susan Williams McElroy & Seth G. Sanders, 2005. "Teenage Childbearing and Its Life Cycle Consequences: Exploiting a Natural Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
  2. McClements, L. D., 1977. "Equivalence scales for children," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 191-210, October.
  3. Daniel Klepinger & Shelly Lundberg & Robert Plotnick, 1999. "How Does Adolescent Fertility Affect the Human Capital and Wages of Young Women?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 421-448.
  4. Arnaud Chevalier & Tarja K. Viitanen, 2002. "The long-run labour market consequences of teenage motherhood in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20093, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Saul Hoffman & E. Foster & Frank Furstenberg, 1993. "Reevaluating the costs of teenage childbearing: Response to Geronimus and Korenman," Demography, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 291-296, May.
  6. John V. Pepper & Michael J. Brien & Gregory E. Loya, 2002. "Teenage childbearing and cognitive development," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 391-416.
  7. Bronars, Stephen G & Grogger, Jeff, 1994. "The Economic Consequences of Unwed Motherhood: Using Twin Births as a Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1141-56, December.
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