Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 73–100 | Cite as

Do youth nonmarital childbearing choices reflect income and relationship expectations?

  • Barbara Wolfe
  • Robert Haveman
  • Karen Pence
  • Jonathan A. Schwabish


We hypothesize that teen nonmarital birth events are influenced by adolescent girls’ perceptions of the consequences of their choices. Two such consequences are explored: (1) a teen’s expected future marriage and cohabitation relationships and (2) the present value of expected future income. We also measure the effects of the characteristics of the teen, her prior choices, her family, her neighborhood, and the social and economic environment in which she lives. The results, based on the Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics, suggest that teens place greater weight on the relationship consequences than the income consequences, but that both consequences influence their nonmarital birth choices.


Teen births Nonmarital fertility Family planning 

JEL Classifications

J13 J10 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Wolfe
    • 1
  • Robert Haveman
    • 1
  • Karen Pence
    • 2
  • Jonathan A. Schwabish
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Federal Reserve BoardWashington DCUSA
  3. 3.US Congressional Budget OfficeWashington DCUSA

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