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Type Journal Article - Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) Report. Pretoria: HSRC
Title Is the child support grant associated with an increase in teenage fertility in South Africa? Evidence from national surveys and administrative data
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2006
Page numbers 0-0
In this paper we outline the results of an analysis of teenage fertility trendsand age patterns of Child Support Grant beneficiaries to examine whetherthe CSG is exerting a perverse effect by increasing teen pregnancy. From the analysis we conclude that there is no relationship between teenagefertility and the CSG. We base this on three findings:Firstly, while teenage pregnancy rose rapidly during the 1980’s, it hadstabilized and even started to decline by the time the CSG was introducedin 1998.Secondly, only 20 percent of teens who bear children are beneficiaries of theCSG.Thirdly, observed increases in youthful fertility have occurred across allsocial sectors including amongst young people who would not qualify forthe CSG on the means test. We note that debates about perverse effects of welfare and proposals forpunitive exclusion and withdrawal have occurred in other countries. Theissue is one that attracts strong personal, moral and cultural opinions. Whilethe data we have analysed, we conclude there are no grounds to believe thatyoung South African girls are deliberately having children in order to accesswelfare benefts. However, the issue can only be settled conclusively by aspecially designed study

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