, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 197-218

The effects of teenage fertility on young adult childbearing

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Numerous studies of fertility behavior find that an early age at first birth increases the rate of subsequent childbearing. Typically, however, these studies do not account for the possibility of serial correlation in the unobserved determinants of fertility. Using 1979–1992 individual-level data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, this paper employs the Method of Simulated Moments to estimate panel probit models of annual birth outcomes. The panel probit models account for several alternative sources of serial correlation. Estimation reveals that once serial correlation is taken into account, the subsequent fertility effects of early childbearing are either statistically eliminated or reversed.