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Health outcomes for children born to teen mothers in Cape Town, South Africa

Author

Listed:
  • Nicola Branson

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

  • Cally Ardington

    () (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape TownAuthor-Email:)

  • Murray Leibbrandt

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

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effect of being born to a teen mother on child health outcomes in South Africa using propensity score reweighting. Exploiting the longitudinal nature of the Cape Area Panel Study, we estimate the probability of being a teen mother conditional on pre-childbirth characteristics. We use this score to construct a weighted counterfactual group of children born to mothers over nineteen whose pre-childbirth characteristics are very similar to the teen mother sample except for their age at the birth of their first child. Our reweighted regressions indicate that being born to a teen mother has some significant adverse effects on child health, especially among Coloured children. In particular, children born to teens are more likely to be underweight at birth and to be stunted with the negative effect being double the size for Coloureds than Africans. No negative impact of teenage childbearing is found on head circumference at birth or the incidence of incomplete first year immunizations. These results remain robust even when we simulate influential unobservable effects in both the reweighting equation and the outcome equation.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicola Branson & Cally Ardington & Murray Leibbrandt, 2011. "Health outcomes for children born to teen mothers in Cape Town, South Africa," SALDRU Working Papers 55, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  • Handle: RePEc:ldr:wpaper:55
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrea Ichino & Fabrizia Mealli & Tommaso Nannicini, 2008. "From temporary help jobs to permanent employment: what can we learn from matching estimators and their sensitivity?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 305-327.
    2. Jason M. Fletcher & Barbara L. Wolfe, 2009. "Education and Labor Market Consequences of Teenage Childbearing: Evidence Using the Timing of Pregnancy Outcomes and Community Fixed Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
    3. Marco Francesconi, 2008. "Adult Outcomes for Children of Teenage Mothers," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(1), pages 93-117, March.
    4. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
    5. Vimal Ranchhod & David Lam & Murray Leibbrandt & Leticia Marteleto, 2011. "Estimating the effect of adolescent fertility on educational attainment in Cape Town using a propensity score weighted regression," SALDRU Working Papers 59, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
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    Cited by:

    1. Leticia Marteleto & Molly Dondero, 2013. "Maternal age at first birth and adolescent education in Brazil," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 28(28), pages 793-820, April.
    2. Cally Ardington & Boingotlo Gasealahwe, 2012. "Health: Analysis of the NIDS Wave 1 and 2 Datasets," SALDRU Working Papers 80, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    3. Nicola Branson & Tanya Byker, 2016. "Causes and Consequences of Teen Childbearing: Evidence from a Reproductive Health Intervention in South Africa," SALDRU Working Papers 166, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    4. Gunes, Pinar & Tsaneva, Magda, 2016. "The Effects of Early Pregnancy on Education, Physical Health and Mental Distress: Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers 2016-14, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.

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