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The Economic Consequences of Unwed Motherhood: Using Twin Births as a Natural Experiment

Stephen G. Bronars and Jeff Grogger
The American Economic Review
Vol. 84, No. 5 (Dec., 1994), pp. 1141-1156
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2117765
Page Count: 16
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The Economic Consequences of Unwed Motherhood: Using Twin Births as a Natural Experiment
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Abstract

We estimate the short-run and life-cycle effects of unplanned children on unwed mothers by comparing unmarried women who first gave birth to twins with unwed mothers who bore singletons. We find large short-term effects of unplanned births on labor-force participation, poverty, and welfare recipiency among unwed mothers, but not among married mothers. Although most of the adverse economic effects of unplanned motherhood dissipate over time for whites, there are larger and more persistent negative effects on black unwed mothers.

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