Thursday, November 8, 2012
Mencken (Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 made it illegal for an institution receiving federal funding to exclude pregnant/parenting teens from the classroom. This decreased a pregnant teenager’s opportunity cost of education. I examine the impact of this piece of legislation on educational outcomes of pregnant/parenting teens using data from the CPS, Census and Vital Statistics. The methodological design exploits the endowment of pre-1972 rates of teen motherhood across states to identify the causal impact of the policy on teen moms. In this framework, a larger effect of the policy is expected in areas with a larger portion of the population in the treatment group, pregnant/parenting teens. Since most data sets covering the period considered do not indicate whether a teenager is pregnant, the percentage of teens who are mothers is used as a proxy for pregnant/parenting teens. For cohorts impacted by this law change, results suggest that in states with relatively higher pre-policy levels of teen motherhood, Title IX increased high school graduation by age 19.