Tweet Sixteen and Pregnant: Missing Links in the Causal Chain from Reality TV to Fertility

22 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2020

See all articles by David A. Jaeger

David A. Jaeger

City University of New York - CUNY Graduate Center

Theodore Joyce

CUNY Baruch College - Zicklin School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Robert Kaestner

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: January 2019

Abstract

We examine the relationship between social media activity, such as Google searches and tweets, related to teen pregnancy and the airing of the MTV program 16 and Pregnant. In contrast to Kearney and Levine's (2015) claim of a positive relationship, we find that the association is statistically insignificant or negative, when the analysis includes periods when new episodes of the program were not being broadcast. The results are also sensitive to using the total number of tweets, which were growing exponentially, as weights. Our results cast substantial doubt on social media as a link in the causal chain between reality television and fertility.

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Suggested Citation

Jaeger, David A. and Joyce, Theodore J. and Kaestner, Robert, Tweet Sixteen and Pregnant: Missing Links in the Causal Chain from Reality TV to Fertility (January 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w25446, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3315280

David A. Jaeger (Contact Author)

City University of New York - CUNY Graduate Center ( email )

New York, NY
United States

Theodore J. Joyce

CUNY Baruch College - Zicklin School of Business ( email )

17 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

365 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10016-4309
United States

Robert Kaestner

University of Chicago ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

365 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10016-4309
United States

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