The Consequences of Teenage Childbearing Before Roe V Wade

30 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2013 Last revised: 15 Nov 2013

See all articles by Kevin Lang

Kevin Lang

Boston University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Russell Weinstein

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - School of Labor & Employment Relations; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 2013

Abstract

Using data from three cycles of the National Survey of Family Growth, we investigate whether there were adverse consequences of teenage childbearing in the 1950s and 1960s, when most abortions were illegal, and access to the pill was limited. We find negative effects of teen motherhood on the likelihood of obtaining at least 12 years of education and on the number of marriages. We find positive effects of teen motherhood on family income, and, unsurprisingly, on the number of children. These effects are heterogeneous by predicted education. For those with high levels of predicted education, giving birth does not affect educational attainment but increases the probability of being divorced. For those predicted to be on the margin of high school completion, giving birth has strong negative effects on 12th grade completion and age at first marriage, while increasing the probability of never having married. In general, for less advantaged teens, motherhood appears to have increased expected family income but also the risk of not graduating from high school and never marrying. We find surprisingly little evidence that births affected teens conceiving pre- and post-marriage differently.

Suggested Citation

Lang, Kevin and Weinstein, Russell, The Consequences of Teenage Childbearing Before Roe V Wade (November 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w19627, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2352144

Kevin Lang (Contact Author)

Boston University - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Russell Weinstein

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - School of Labor & Employment Relations ( email )

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Champaign, IL 61820-6297
United States

HOME PAGE: http://publish.illinois.edu/RussellWeinstein

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics ( email )

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Urbana, IL 61801
United States

HOME PAGE: http://publish.illinois.edu/RussellWeinstein

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