Kapinos, Kandice (2014). The effect of a negative shock to fertility preferences on subsequent childbearing, schooling and earnings. 2014 Add Health Users Conference.
The negative economic consequences of teenage fertility outcomes have been well-documented. Studies show that teen health behaviors are highly susceptible to peer influences, however, and estimating causal peer effects is challenging. This study utilizes a young woman's exposure to a friend's teen childbirth as a shock to her fertility preferences to investigate how peer effects in teen pregnancy translate into longer term effects on subsequent fertility, human capital accumulation, and labor market outcomes. Using Add Health data, we find that women who were exposed to an exogenous shock of a friend's teen childbirth were 6.2 (p<0.05) percentage points less likely to have a teen childbirth themselves, and that effect persisted into mid-twenties with a 7.1 (p<0.05) percentage point reduction in the probability of having a child. These effects were similar for Black and non-Black women, although Black women were also slightly less likely to drop out of high school.
2014 Add Health Users Conference
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