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Trends in teenage childbearing and schooling outcomes for children born to teens in South Africa

Author

Listed:
  • Nicola Branson

    () (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

  • Cally Ardington

    () (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

  • Murray Leibbrandt

    () (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

Abstract

Teenage childbearing is considered a social problem with costs to the teenage mother, her child and society at large. In South Africa, media attention suggests a contemporary crisis in teen childbearing; often linking this to a fear that the Child Support Grant incentivises motherhood among teens. Despite these assertions, there is little empirical research assessing the trends in teen childbearing over time in South Africa and the intergenerational consequences of teenage childbearing. This paper uses six nationally representative household surveys to show that, while teenage childbearing decreased between 1980 and 2008, it is not an uncommon event in South Africa. Around 25% of women gave birth before age 20 in 2008. Children born to teen mothers are found to have worse educational outcomes, with children of young teen mothers most at risk. Differences are found between population groups, with the association largest and increasing over time for coloureds and relatively small and stable for Africans. About half the association can be explained by relative levels of poverty and maternal education.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicola Branson & Cally Ardington & Murray Leibbrandt, 2013. "Trends in teenage childbearing and schooling outcomes for children born to teens in South Africa," SALDRU Working Papers 098, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  • Handle: RePEc:ldr:wpaper:098
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    File URL: http://www.opensaldru.uct.ac.za/bitstream/handle/11090/614/2013_98.pdf?sequence=1
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jorge M. Aguero & Michael R. Carter & Ingrid Woolard, 2006. "The Impact of Unconditional Cash Transfers on Nutrition: The South African Child Support Grant," SALDRU Working Papers 8, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    2. Anne Case & Victoria Hosegood & Frances Lund, 2005. "The reach and impact of Child Support Grants: evidence from KwaZulu-Natal," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 467-482.
    3. Malcolm Keswell & Laura Poswell, 2004. "Returns To Education In South Africa: A Retrospective Sensitivity Analysis Of The Available Evidence," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 72(4), pages 834-860, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lucilla Maria Bruni & Jamele Rigolini & Sara Troiano, 2016. "Forever Young?," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24996, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Teenage childbearing; South Africa; National household survey data;

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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