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Estimating the effect of adolescent fertility on educational attainment in Cape Town using a propensity score weighted regression

Vimal Ranchhod, University of Cape Town
David Lam, University of Michigan
Murray Leibbrandt, University of Cape Town
Leticia J. Marteleto, University of Texas at Austin

We estimate the effect of a teenage birth on the educational attainment of young mothers in Cape Town, South Africa. Longitudinal data on youth from the CAPS dataset are used. We control for a number of early life and pre-fertility characteristics and also reweight our data using a propensity score matching process to generate a more appropriate counterfactual group. Our best estimates of the effect of a teen birth on high school graduation by ages 20 and 22 are -5.9 and -2.7 percentage points respectively. Thus, there appears to be some `catching up' in educational attainment by teen mothers. We find limited support for the hypothesis of differences in the effect of a teen birth, depending on the actual age of the first birth.

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Presented in Session 81: Fertility among teens and young adults