Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 517–536 | Cite as

Understanding the link between the economy and teenage sexual behavior and fertility outcomes

  • Jeremy ArkesEmail author
  • Jacob Alex Klerman
Original Paper


We use individual-level data from the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and state unemployment rates to examine how the economy affects fertility and its proximate determinants for several groups based on gender, age (15–17 and 18–20 groups), and race/ethnicity. We find that, for 15- to 17-year-old females, several behaviors leading to pregnancies and pregnancies themselves are higher when the unemployment rate is higher, which is consistent with the counter-cyclical fertility patterns for this group. For 18- to 20-year-old males, the results suggested counter-cyclical patterns of fertility behaviors/outcomes for whites, but pro-cyclical patterns for blacks.


Fertility Sexual behavior Contraception 

JEL Classifications

J11 J13 



We would like to thank Phillip Levine for providing data on abortion laws, Paul Steinberg for editorial assistance, Chris Dirks for formatting assistance, and the helpful comments from two anonymous referees.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Naval Postgraduate School/Code GBMontereyUSA
  2. 2.Abt Associates IncCambridgeUSA

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