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Type Thesis or Dissertation - PhD thesis
Title The effect of teenage pregnancy on schooling and labor force participation: Evidence from urban South Africa
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2019
Women who give birth in their teen years have been observed to have worse health, less schooling, and poorer job market performance in adulthood. Policy makers are concerned about their life-long outcomes. However, the contribution of childbearing to life outcomes is difficult to estimate due to the possibility of selection into motherhood. I examine the educational outcomes and the labor force participation of teenagers who report a pregnancy in the Cape Area, South Africa. To identify the causal effects of teenage pregnancy, I use two main approaches. I first use an instrumental variable identification which relies on the number of teenage fertile years to instrument for teenage pregnancy. Next, I consider differences among a subsample of sisters living in the same household but with differing reports of teenage pregnancies using a sibling differences model. I find a large, negative and significant effect of 1.8 less years of completed education, a 24-percentage points reduction of attending higher education and an increase in the likelihood of dropping out of schooling. My findings also reflect a substitution between post secondary education and and labor participation. Overall, these results suggest that early pregnancies have some significant impacts on human capital in terms of education.

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