Re-Evaluating the Costs of Teenage Childbearing,
Between 1988 and 1991, papers presented by A. T. Geronimus and S. Korenman challenged the popular notion that women who become parents as teenagers are at greater risk of social and economic disadvantage throughout their lives than those who delay childbearing until their twenties. Using data from the 1982 National Longitudinal Survey of Young Women (NLSYW), Geronimus and Korenman's study reflected very small and statistically insignificant effects of early childbearing on a wide range of outcomes, including economic status and the probability of high school graduation. Because their findings had important implications for policy, the investigators of this study attempted to replicate the same analyses using a nationally representative sample of young women drawn from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). The present study suggests that while the effects of teen childbearing have been overstated somewhat in the past, statistically significant and quantitatively important effects of teen parenthood remain for high school graduation, family size, and economic well-being. This data set contains 74 variables and 856 cases (428 sister pairs).