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The Socioeconomic Consequences of Teenage Childbearing: Findings from a Natural Experiment

Jeff Grogger and Stephen Bronars
Family Planning Perspectives
Vol. 25, No. 4 (Jul. - Aug., 1993), pp. 156-161+174
Published by: Guttmacher Institute
DOI: 10.2307/2135923
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2135923
Page Count: 7
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The Socioeconomic Consequences of Teenage Childbearing: Findings from a Natural Experiment
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Abstract

A study based on census data from 1970 and 1980 examines the socioeconomic effects of unplanned teenage childbearing by comparing teenage mothers whose first birth was to twins with those whose first birth was to a single infant. Among black women, an unplanned teenage birth--represented by the secondborn twin--results in significantly lower rates of high school graduation and labor-force participation and significantly higher rates of poverty and welfare recipiency. Ten years after giving birth, black women who have an unplanned child are also significantly less likely than women who have not to be currently married, but are not less likely to have ever been married. Like black women, white women who have an unplanned teenage birth have significantly higher rates of poverty and welfare recipiency; they also have significantly lower family earnings and household income.

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