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Teen Out-of-Wedlock Births and Welfare Receipt: The Role of Childhood Events and Economic Circumstances

Chong-Bum An, Robert Haveman and Barbara Wolfe
The Review of Economics and Statistics
Vol. 75, No. 2 (May, 1993), pp. 195-208
Published by: The MIT Press
DOI: 10.2307/2109424
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2109424
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Teen Out-of-Wedlock Births and Welfare Receipt: The Role of Childhood Events and Economic Circumstances
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Abstract

Using 20 years of longitudinal data on nearly 900 girls aged 0 to 6 in 1968 (19 to 25 in 1987) from the University of Michigan's Panel Study of Income Dynamics, the authors measure the influence of family background, individual characteristics, economic resources (or the lack thereof), and the experience of particular disruptive family events on the probability that a teenager will give birth out of wedlock and subsequently apply for and receive welfare. The prior welfare participation of a teenage daughter's mother, the other economic circumstances and stressful events are all important aspects in the analysis, which employs a bivariate probit model. Among the many findings of the investigators is that teenage daughters whose mothers have more education are less likely to give birth out of wedlock, that teens whose mothers received welfare are more likely to give birth out of wedlock and receive welfare themselves, and that teens who grew up in a home experiencing stressful events (e.g., parental separation, geographic moves) are more likely to give birth out of wedlock.

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