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Youth Risk-Taking Behavior in Brazil: Drug Use and Teenage Pregnancies


  • Cardoso, Ana Rute

    () (IAE Barcelona (CSIC))

  • Verner, Dorte

    () (World Bank)


Using an extensive survey addressing risk factors faced by the population in the shantytowns of Fortaleza, Brazil, the aim of this paper is to study interactions among different types of risk-taking behavior by youth, namely drug use and teenage pregnancy. We check the impact of factors such as exposure to mass media, the existence of support networks, self-esteem, or the occurrence of violence at home and in the neighborhood, on the probability of risk-taking behavior. A bivariate probit model is estimated. Findings indicate that reliance on support networks and exposure to mass media are associated with a lower probability of either type of risk behavior. Living in a violent home increased drug consumption. Race does not have a significant impact on either type of behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Cardoso, Ana Rute & Verner, Dorte, 2007. "Youth Risk-Taking Behavior in Brazil: Drug Use and Teenage Pregnancies," IZA Discussion Papers 3030, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3030

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Shao-Hsun Keng & Wallace Huffman, 2010. "Binge drinking and labor market success: a longitudinal study on young people," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(1), pages 303-322, January.
    2. Sen, Bisakha, 2002. "Does alcohol-use increase the risk of sexual intercourse among adolescents? Evidence from the NLSY97," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 1085-1093, November.
    3. Michael Grossman & Sarah Markowitz, 2005. "I Did What Last Night? Adolescent Risky Sexual Behaviors and Substance Abuse," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 383-405, Summer.
    4. Cardoso, Ana Rute & Verner, Dorte, 2006. "School Drop-Out and Push-Out Factors in Brazil: The Role of Early Parenthood, Child Labor, and Poverty," IZA Discussion Papers 2515, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2007. "Does single parenthood increase the probability of teenage promiscuity, substance use, and crime?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(1), pages 55-71, February.
    6. Rashad, Inas & Kaestner, Robert, 2004. "Teenage sex, drugs and alcohol use: problems identifying the cause of risky behaviors," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 493-503, May.
    7. Peter Kooreman, 2007. "Time, money, peers, and parents; some data and theories on teenage behavior," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(1), pages 9-33, February.
    8. Jonathan Gruber, 2001. "Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub01-1, January.
    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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Berg,Gunhild & Zia,Bilal Husnain, 2013. "Harnessing emotional connections to improve financial decisions : evaluating the impact of financial education in mainstream media," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6407, The World Bank.
    2. Eva O. Arceo-Gómez & Raymundo M. Campos-Vázquez, 2014. "Teenage Pregnancy in Mexico: Evolution and Consequences," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 51(1), pages 109-146, May.

    More about this item


    drug use; teenage pregnancy; sexual behavior; reproductive health; teenage behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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