Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 197–218 | Cite as

The effects of teenage fertility on young adult childbearing

  • David C. Ribar


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.

JEL classification


Key words

Fertility method of simulated moments 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Blackburn ML, Bloom DE, Neumark D (1993) Fertility timing, wages, and human capital. Journal of Population Economics 6:1–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bronars S, Grogger J (1994) The economic consequences of teenage childbearing: Results from a natural experiment. American Economic Review 84:1141–1156Google Scholar
  3. Butler JS, Moffitt RA (1982) A computationally efficient quadrature procedure for the one-factor multinomial probit model. Econometrica 50:761–764CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Center for Human Resource Research (1992) NLS Handbook 1992. Columbus, OH: Ohio State UniversityGoogle Scholar
  5. Geronimus A, Korenman S (1992) The socioeconomic consequences of teenage childbearing reconsidered. Quarterly Journal of Economics 107:1187–1214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Geweke J, Keane MP, Runkle D (1994) Alternative computational approaches to inference in the multinomial probit model. Review of Economics and Statistics, 76:609–632CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hajivassiliou V, McFadden D, Ruud PA (1994) Simulation of multivariate normal rectangle probabilities and their derivatives: Theoretical and computational results. Mimeo, Yale UniversityGoogle Scholar
  8. Happel SK, Hill JK, Low SA (1984) An economic analysis of the timing of childbirth. Population Studies 38:299–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Heckman JJ, Hotz VJ, Walker JR (1985) The influence of early fertility on subsequent births and the importance of controlling for unobserved heterogeneity. Bulletin of the International Statistical Institute 51:14.4.1–15Google Scholar
  10. Heckman JJ, Walker JR (1991) Economic models of fertility dynamics: A study of Swedish fertility. In: Schultz TP (ed) Research in Population Economics, Vol 7. Greenwich, CT: JAI PressGoogle Scholar
  11. Hofferth SL (1987) The social and economic consequences of teenage childbearing. In: Hayes C, Hofferth S (eds) Risking the Future: Adolescent Sexuality, Pregnancy, and Childbearing, Vol II. Washington DC, National Academy PressGoogle Scholar
  12. Hoffman SD, Foster EM, Furstenberg FF Jr (1993) Re-evaluating the costs of teenage childbearing. Demography 30:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hotz VJ, McElroy SW, Sanders SG (1995) The costs and consequences of teenage childbearing for mothers. Mimeo, University of ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  14. Hotz VJ, Miller RA (1988) An empirical analysis of life cycle fertility and female labor supply. Econometrica 56:91–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Keane MP (1992) Simulation estimation for panel data models with limited dependent variables. In: Maddala GS, Rao CR, Vinod HD (eds) Handbook of Statistics, Vol 11. Amsterdam, Elsevier Science PublishersGoogle Scholar
  16. Keane MP (1994) A computationally practical simulation estimator for panel data. Econometrica 62:95–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Klepinger D, Lundberg S, Plotnick R (1995a) Adolescent fertility and the educational attainment of young women. Family Planning Perspectives 27:23–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Klepinger D, Lundberg S, Plotnick R (1995b) How does adolescent fertility affect the human capital and wages of young women? Paper presented at the Population Association of America Meetings in San Francisco, CAGoogle Scholar
  19. Matthews S, Ribar DC, Wilhelm MO (1995) The effects of economic conditions and access to reproductive health services on state abortion and birth rates. Mimeo, Pennsylvania State UniversityGoogle Scholar
  20. McFadden D (1989) A method of simulated moments for estimation of discrete response probabilities without numerical integration. Econometrica 57:995–1026CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Merz JF (1994) A review of abortion policy: Legality, Medicaid funding, and parent involvement, 1967–1994. Mimeo, Rand CorporationGoogle Scholar
  22. Moffitt RA (1984a) Optimal life-cycle profiles or fertility and labor supply. In: Schultz TP, Wolpin KI (eds) Research in Population Economics, Vol 5. Greenwich, CT, JAI PressGoogle Scholar
  23. Moffitt RA (1984b) The estimation of fertility equations on panel data. Journal of Human Resources 19:22–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Montgomery M, Trussell J (1986) Models of marital status and childbearing. In: Ashenfelter O, Layard R (eds) Handbook of Labor Economics. Amsterdam, North-HollandGoogle Scholar
  25. Olsen R, Farkas G (1989) Endogenous covariates in duration models and the effect of adolescent childbirth on schooling. Journal of Human Resources 24:37–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ribar DC (1994) Teenage fertility and high school completion. Review of Economics and Statistics 76:413–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ribar DC (1995) The socioeconomic consequences of young women’s childbearing: Reconciling disparate evidence. Mimeo, Pennsylvania State UniversityGoogle Scholar
  28. US Bureau of Economic Analysis (1992) Regional Economic Information System. Washington, DC, US Department of CommerceGoogle Scholar
  29. US Bureau of Health Professions (1993) Area Resource File. Springfield VA, National Technical Information ServiceGoogle Scholar
  30. Upchurch D, McCarthy J (1990) The timing of a first birth and high school completion. American Sociological Review 55:224–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Vijverberg WPM (1984) Discrete choices in a continuous time model: Life-cycle time allocation and fertility decisions. In: Schultz TP, Wolpin KI (eds) Research in Population Economics, Vol 5. Greenwich, CT, JAI PressGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • David C. Ribar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsGeorge Washington UniversityWashington, DCUSA

Personalised recommendations