Population Research and Policy Review

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 235–257

Effects of child support and welfare policies on nonmarital teenage childbearing and motherhood

Article

Abstract

This paper is an assessment of the impact of child support enforcement and welfare policies on nonmarital teenage childbearing and motherhood. We derive four hypotheses about the effects of policies on nonmarital teenage childbearing and motherhood. We propose that teenage motherhood and school enrollment are joint decisions for teenage girls. Based on individual trajectories during ages 12–19, our analysis uses an event history model for nonmarital teenage childbearing and a dynamic model of motherhood that is jointly determined with school enrollment. We find some evidence that child support policies indirectly reduce teen motherhood by increasing the probability of school enrollment, which, in turn, reduces the probability of teen motherhood. This finding suggests that welfare offices may wish to place greater weight on outreach programs that inform more teenagers of the existence of strong child support enforcement measures. Such programs might reduce nonmarital teen motherhood further and thus reduce the need for welfare support and child support enforcement in the long run.

Keywords

Child support policy Welfare policy Teenage childbearing Teenage motherhood 

References

  1. Astone, N. M., & Upchurch, D. M. (1994). Forming a family, leaving school early, and earning a GED: A racial and cohort comparison. Journal of Marriage and the Family 56, 759–771.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blank, R. M. (2002). Evaluating welfare reform in the United States. The Journal of Economic Literature 15, 1105–1166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bloom, D. E., Conrad, C., & Miller, C. (1998). Child support and father’s remarriage and fertility. In I. Garfinkel, S. S. McLanahan, D. R. Meyer, & J. A. Seltzer (Eds.), Fathers under fire: The revolution in child support enforcement. (pp. 128–156). New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  4. Fein, D. J. (1999). Will welfare reform influence marriage and fertility? Early evidence from the ABC demonstration. Bethesda MD: Abt Assoc.Google Scholar
  5. Finkel, S. F. (1995). Causal analysis with panel data. Thousand Oaks CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  6. Foster, E. M., & Hoffman, S. D. (2001). The young and the not quite so young: Age variation in the impact of AFDC benefits on nonmarital childbearing. In L. L. Wu, & B. Wolfe (Eds.), Out of wedlock: Causes and consequences of nonmarital fertility. (pp. 173–201). New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  7. Freeman, R. B., & Waldfogel, J. (1998). Does child support enforcement policy affect male labor supply?. In I. Garfinkel, S. S. McLanahan, D. R. Meyer, & J. A. Seltzer (Eds.), Fathers under fire: The revolution in child support enforcement. (pp. 94–127). New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  8. Garfinkel, I., Huang, C.-C., McLanahan, S., & Gaylin, D. (2003). Will child support enforcement reduce nonmarital childbearing? Journal of Population Economics 16(1), 55–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Garfinkel I., McLanahan S. S., Meyer D. R., & Seltzer J. A. (Eds.). (1998). Fathers under fire: The revolution in child support enforcement. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  10. Gottschalk, P. (1990). AFDC participation across generations. American Economic Association Papers and Proceedings 80(2), 367–371.Google Scholar
  11. Gottschalk, P. (1992). The intergenerational transmission of welfare participation: Facts and possible causes. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 11(2), 254–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hao, L. (1997). Using a multinomial logit specification to model two interdependent processes with an empirical application. Sociological Methods and Research 26(1), 80–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hao, L., Astone, N. M., & Cherlin, A. J. (2004). Adolescents’ school enrollment and employment: Effect of state welfare policies. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 23, 697–721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hao, L., & Cherlin, A. J. (2004). Welfare reform and teenage pregnancy, childbirth, and school dropout. Journal of Marriage and the Family 66, 179–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hardy, J. B., Astone, N. M., Brooks-Gunn, J., Shapiro, S., & Miller, T. L. (1998). Like mother, like child: Intergenerational patterns of age at first birth and associations with childhood and adolescent characteristics and adult outcomes in the second generation. Developmental Psychology 34(6), 1220–1232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Haveman, R., & Wolfe, B. (1994). Succeeding generations: On the effects of investments in children. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  17. Hsiao, C. (2003). Analysis of panel data (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Huang, C.-C. (2001). The impact of child support enforcement on nonmarital and marital births: Does it differ by racial and age groups? Social Service Review 76(2), 275–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Huber, P. J. (1967). The behavior of maximum likelihood estimate under non-standard conditions. In Proceedings of the fifth Berkeley symposium on mathematical statistics and probability 1. (pp. 221–233). Berkeley CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  20. Jones, A. S., Astone, N. M., Keyl, P. M., Kim, Y. J., & Alexander, C. S. (1999). Teen childbearing and educational attainment: A comparison of methods. Journal of Family and Economic Issues 20(4), 387–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Joyce, T., & Kaestner, R. (1996). The effect of expansions in Medicaid income eligibility on abortion. Demography 33(2), 181–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Joyce, T., Kaestner, R., & Kwan, F. (1998). Is Medicaid pronatalist? The effect of eligibility expansions on abortions and births. Family Planning Perspectives 30(3), 108–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kaestner, R., Korenman, S., & O’Neill, J. (2003). Has welfare reform changed teenage behavior? Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 22, 225–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Meyer, D. R. (1998). The effect of child support on the economic status of nonresident fathers. In I. Garfinkel, S. S. McLanahan, D. R. Meyer, & J. A. Seltzer (Eds.) Fathers under fire: The revolution in child support enforcement. (pp. 67–93). New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  25. Moffitt, R. A. (1998). The effect of welfare on marriage and fertility. In R. A. Moffitt (Ed.) Welfare, the family and reproductive behavior. (pp. 59–97). Washington, DC: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  26. Offner, P. (2003). Teenagers and welfare reform. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.Google Scholar
  27. Plotnick, R., Garfinkel, I., McLanahan, S., & Ku, I. (2005). The impact of child support enforcement policy on nonmarital childbearing. Working paper #2006–2009. Retrieved at http://www.evans.washington.edu/webtools/working_papers/Evans-Faculty-Paper.php?id = 44.
  28. Quint, J. C., Bos, J. M., & Polit, D. F. (1997). New chance: Final report on a comprehensive program for young mothers in poverty and their children. New York: Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation.Google Scholar
  29. Wu, L. L. (1996). Effects of family instability, income and income insecurity on the risk of a premarital birth. American Sociological Review 61(3), 386–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wu, L. L., & Martinson, B. C. (1993). Family structure and the risk of a premarital birth. American Sociological Review 58(2), 210–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Yamaguchi, K. (1990). Logit and multinomial logit models for discrete-time event-history analysis: A causal analysis of interdependent discrete-state processes. Quality & Quantity 24, 323–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lingxin Hao
    • 1
  • Nan M. Astone
    • 1
  • Andrew J. Cherlin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

Personalised recommendations