The impact of young motherhood on education, employment and marriage
The poor socio-economic outcomes of women who have their first child when young are well documented. However, the policy implications of this association depend upon the causal mechanisms that underlie it. Recent studies in the US and UK have used miscarriage as an instrument to identify the direct causal impact of young childbearing – with US research suggesting that early child-bearing may even have a beneficial impact upon mother’s outcomes. This paper uses this method to examine this issue for a new Australian panel of young women. No evidence is found for an adverse impact of young childbirth on education, labour market, income or location. Instead these outcomes follow the patterns that might be expected on the basis of selection effects. On the other hand, young motherhood does have an impact on partnering outcomes. Being a young mother reduces the likelihood of being legally married (instead of defacto partnered) when aged in the late 20s. Also, having a child in the early rather than late 20s leads to a greater likelihood of being a lone parent at around age 30.
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NBER Working Papers
7397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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- V. Joseph Hotz & Susan Williams McElroy & Seth G. Sanders, 1999. "Teenage Childbearing and Its Life Cycle Consequences: Exploiting a Natural Experiment," JCPR Working Papers 157, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 2001.
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834, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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- Joshua Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," NBER Working Papers 8456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John Ermisch & David Pevalin, 2005. "Early motherhood and later partnerships," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 469-489, 09.
- Wolfe, Barbara & Wilson, Kathryn & Haveman, Robert, 2001. "The role of economic incentives in teenage nonmarital childbearing choices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 473-511, September.
- Bruce Bradbury, 2006. "Disadvantaged among Australian young mothers," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 9(2), pages 147-171, June.
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