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Teen Childbearing and Community Religiosity

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  • Linda Datcher Loury

Abstract

This paper shows that communities with larger fractions of Catholics and Conservative Protestants have lower rates of teen childbearing ceteris paribus. The pattern of results does not appear to result from spurious correlation with unobservables but rather can be explained by a modified version of Akerlof’s conformity model. This research suggests that community variables that may affect individuals extend beyond the standard measures of neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics. It provides indirect evidence in favor of policy interventions that explicitly seek to alter attitudes and norms rather than relying solely on providing information or structuring financial incentives to change behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Linda Datcher Loury, 2004. "Teen Childbearing and Community Religiosity," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0405, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  • Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0405
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