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Estimating the effect of adolescent fertility on educational attainment in Cape Town using a propensity score weighted regression

Author

Listed:
  • Vimal Ranchhod

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

  • David Lam

    () (University of Michigan)

  • Murray Leibbrandt

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

  • Leticia Marteleto

    (University of Texas at Austin.)

Abstract

We estimate the effect of a teenage birth on the educational attainment of young mothers in Cape Town, South Africa. Longitudinal and retrospective data on youth from the CAPS dataset are used. We control for a number of early life and pre-fertility characteristics. We also reweight our data using a propensity score matching process to generate a more appropriate counterfactual group. Accounting for respondent characteristics reduces estimates of the effect of a teen birth on dropping out of school, successfully completing secondary school, and years of schooling attained. Our best estimates of the effect of a teen birth on high school graduation by ages 20 and 22 are -5.9 and -2.7 percentage points respectively. The former is significant at the 5% level,while the latter is not statistically significant. Thus, there appears to be some `catching up' in educational attainment by teen mothers. We find only limited support for the hypothesis that there is heterogeneity in the effect of a teen birth, depending on the actual age of the first birth. By age 22, none of the estimates for high school graduation or years of schooling are statistically significant, regardless of the specific age at which the teen birth occurred. Despite this, we do find evidence that a teen birth does correlate with reduced educational expectations. The proportion of teen mothers who report an expected final educational attainment of high school graduation or greater is about 15 percentage points lower than the matched set of non-teen mothers, but this is not manifest amongst the girls whom we know will subsequently become teen mothers at some point after these expectations are measured.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ldr:wpaper:59
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Arline Geronimus & Sanders Korenman, 1993. "The socioeconomic costs of teenage childbearing: Evidence and interpretation," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 30(2), pages 281-290, May.
    2. Ribar, David C, 1994. "Teenage Fertility and High School Completion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 413-424, August.
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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. David SAHN & Catalina HERRERA, 2014. "The Impact of Early Childbearing on Schooling and Cognitive Skills among Young Women in Madagascar," Working Papers 201428, CERDI.
    3. 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.
    4. Kakal, T., 2015. "A tale of two sisters : Investigating the socio-economic outcomes of teen childbearing in South Africa," ISS Working Papers - General Series 604, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    5. Herrera Catalina & E. Sahn David, 2017. "Working Paper 281 - Early Childbearing, School Attainment and Cognitive Skills," Working Paper Series 2398, African Development Bank.
    6. Nicola Branson & Clare Hofmeyr & David Lam, 2014. "Progress through school and the determinants of school dropout in South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 106-126, January.
    7. Elina Pradhan & David Canning, 2016. "The Effect of Schooling on Teenage Fertility: Evidence from the 1994 Education Reform in Ethiopia," PGDA Working Papers 12816, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
    8. Nicola Branson & Cally Ardington & Murray Leibbrandt, 2015. "Health Outcomes for Children Born to Teen Mothers in Cape Town, South Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(3), pages 589-616.
    9. 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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