Apr 21, 2014

Adolescent Motherhood and Education (Chile)

More education for women is highly desirable. A recent study, for example, shows that "municipalities ruled by female mayors in Brazil have better health outcomes, receive more federal discretionary transfers, and have lower corruption." Indeed, broadly speaking, it seems that women tend to be less corrupt than men. As a consequence one of the key tools to improve welfare is to provide women with more education. This paper (March 2014) identifies the main reason for not to attend to school among adolescent girls in Chile: adolescent motherhood. 

The title of the paper is "The Impact of Adolescent Motherhood on Education in Chile." The abstract: 
We analyze the effect of having a child in adolescence on high school completion, educational attainment, and college enrollment in a developing country setting using nine repeated rounds of Chilean household surveys that span the 1990–2009 period. We control for selection bias and household unobservables of teen motherhood with two approaches: different estimation methods – propensity score matching and family fixed effects for a large sub-sample of sisters – and three different samples. Results reveal that adolescent motherhood reduces the probability of high school completion by between 18 to 37 percent. Furthermore, effects are heterogeneous across education groups: teen motherhood has larger negative effects on high school completion and years of schooling among poor and low-education households. Our results imply that policies aimed at reducing early childbearing will have important short-term effects on young women’s education outcomes. 

The authors are Matias Berthelon & Diana I. Kruger. 

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