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A Cross-Cohort Examination of Nonmarital Teenage Childbearing


  • Traci Mach


The current paper looks at the nonmarital teenage childbearing behavior of two cohorts of NLSY women. It constructs a monthly panel of information for the teens from the time they are twelve years old until they have a nonmarital birth, reach the end of their third survey without giving birth, get married, or reach age 18. The research attempts to identify the factors that have contributed to the differences in teenage childbearing behavior that we observe across the cohorts of women by estimating a Cox proportional hazard model, stratified on race, age of mother a the birth of her first child, and the rate of marriage in the state. The model identifies education, living situations, religion, and welfare policy as factors. Specifically, for the youths of the 1990s, the introduction of restrictions on living conditions, the so-called minor parent provisions, act as a retardant to nonmarital childbearing. The model also shows that higher education for the youth and her mother delay childbearing for both cohorts of women. Finally, living with one's biological father at age 14 is linked with delayed childbearing, with hazard rates nearly 60 and 40 percent lower for teens of the two cohorts.

Suggested Citation

  • Traci Mach, 2002. "A Cross-Cohort Examination of Nonmarital Teenage Childbearing," Discussion Papers 02-05, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:nya:albaec:02-05

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Nonmarital childbearing; NLSY79; NLSY97;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs


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