Poster Paper: Can More Education Explain the Drop in Teen Fertility Rates in the U.S

Monday, June 13, 2016
Clement House, Ground Floor, Hong Kong Theatre (London School of Economics)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Pallavi Vyas, University of Chicago
In this paper, I attempt to establish a causal relationship between education completion of women and teen fertility rates. Education completion is often in response to improved economic opportunities for those that have completed an education. The existing earnings of women of different education levels are the expected earnings of a teenage woman. Using geographic cross-sectional variation in earnings at different education levels, I find that teen birth rates respond most negatively to growth in earnings of the high school educated. I look more narrowly at some states where there have been changes in the educational system that allow me to do a case study analysis. Using a difference-in-differences approach, I estimate the impact of high school and college completion on teen fertility. This research attempts to unravel the cause of at least some portion of the unexplained decline in teen birth rates that has continued to occur in the 1990s and 2000s in the US.