The Timing of Teenage Births and the Economic Returns to Education
Teenage mothers tend to have poor economic outcomes later in life. However, the girls who become teenage mothers come from less advantaged backgrounds than those who delay childbearing until later in life, making causality difficult to establish. This paper examines the effect of having a child during high school versus becoming a young mother, but one who has already finished high school. I compare the outcomes of girls who have a child in the end of their senior year of high school to a control group comprised of girls who give birth a few months later. I find that girls who give birth during the school year are 9 percentage points less likely to graduate from high school; however, this has little effect on their eventual labor market outcomes. Despite being much more likely to obtain a High School degree, the control group does not enjoy higher earnings later in life, and is not any more likely to be working.
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- Adam Ashcraft & Kevin Lang, 2006. "The Consequences of Teenage Childbearing," NBER Working Papers 12485, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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JCPR Working Papers
157, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- V. Joseph Hotz & Susan Williams McElroy & Seth G. Sanders, 2005. "Teenage Childbearing and Its Life Cycle Consequences: Exploiting a Natural Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
- V. Joseph Hotz & Seth G. Sanders & Susan Williams McElroy, 1999. "Teenage Childbearing and Its Life Cycle Consequences: Exploiting a Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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