The Effects of Teen and Early Fatherhood on Educational Attainment and Labor Market Outcomes

Elizabeth Peters, Cornell University
Joseph J. Sabia, United States Military Academy at West Point
Joseph P. Price, Brigham Young University
Reginald Covington, Cornell University

A report from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy concluded that the public cost of teen births reached $9.1 billion in 2004. Much of the literature on the consequences of teen childbearing has focused on women, although the size of the effects varies widely depending on the techniques used to control for endogeneity. Despite the fact that men’s role in fertility is receiving increasing attention, very little work estimates the consequences of early fatherhood. In this paper, we estimate the schooling and labor market consequences for men, using many of the same empirical techniques that have been used for women. We compare the consequences for men and women across three different data sets, the 1979 and 1997 cohorts of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and the 1988 National Educational Longitudinal Survey, which enable us to analyze changes in the effect of teen parenthood over time.

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Presented in Session 197: New Views on Early Parenthood: Gender and Cross-National Perspectives