Outcomes for Teenage Mothers in the First Years after Birth

29 Pages Posted: 10 May 2014

See all articles by Guyonne R.J. Kalb

Guyonne R.J. Kalb

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research; IZA; ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course

Trinh Le

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust

Felix Leung

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute (MIAESR)

Date Written: March 2014

Abstract

This study uses data from the LSAC and HILDA surveys to examine educational, labour market, health and partnership outcomes of young women who became a mother during their teenage years and compares them with outcomes of women who became a mother in their twenties and those who do not have children yet. We find that while teenage motherhood is strongly associated with poorer outcomes in the first years after birth, a large part of the observed associations is due to selection bias. However, although not all of the observed associations can be attributed to the causal impact of teenage motherhood, the indication is that some of the associations are causal, of nontrivial size, and significant. Propensity score matching analysis suggests that relative to childless women with similar characteristics, teenage mothers are 39 percentage points less likely to complete Year 12, 54 percentage points less likely to be employed and 34 percentage points more likely to be a smoker. Relative to childless women, teenage mothers have $100 less in weekly personal income and are 8 percentage points less likely to be in good health or better than good health.

Keywords: Teenage mothers, educational outcomes, health outcomes, labour market outcomes

JEL Classification: J12, J13

Suggested Citation

Kalb, Guyonne R.J. and Le, Trinh and Leung, Felix, Outcomes for Teenage Mothers in the First Years after Birth (March 2014). Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 6/14, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2435025 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2435025

Guyonne R.J. Kalb (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

IZA ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, 3053
Australia

Trinh Le

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust ( email )

Level 1, 93 Cuba Street
P.O. Box 24390
Wellington, 6142
New Zealand

Felix Leung

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute (MIAESR) ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
161 Barry Street
Carlton, VIC 3053
Australia

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