Department of Economics
University of Delaware
Working Paper #2003-08
The Socio-Economic Effects of Teen Childbearing Re-considered:
A Re-Analysis of the Teen Miscarriage Experiment
Saul D. Hoffman
In an important contribution to the literature on the socio-economic impacts of teen childbearing, Hotz, McElroy, and Sanders used a natural experiment based on the random occurrence of miscarriages. They concluded that teen childbearing was actually beneficial to the young women in terms of labor market outcomes and to the government in terms of net transfers. In a replication of their work, I identify a number of important errors that undermine their results. Correction and re-estimation with their data show substantially smaller impacts on income variables. Re-estimation with a new data set yields impacts that are smaller yet. The re-estimation generally does not alter the sign of the estimated effects, but does lead to a much more modest conclusion.
JEL Codes: J10, J13, J16