Estimating the Effect of Adolescent Fertility on Educational Attainment in South Africa: A Comparison of Methods

Vimal Ranchhod, University of Michigan
David Lam, University of Michigan
Leticia J. Marteleto, University of Michigan

What is the impact of adolescent fertility on educational attainment in South Africa? We make use of longitudinal data from the Cape Area Panel Study (CAPS) to answer this question. CAPS is a data set of approximately 4,800 youth in the Cape Town metropolitan area. Answering this question well is difficult as there are socioeconomic factors that correlate with both educational outcomes and fertility. We employ multivariate regressions, sibling and individual fixed effects models and matching estimators. The matching estimators are promising as the data set has detailed information on sexual activity, date of sexual debut, use of contraceptives and number of partners. Preliminary results suggest that teenage mothers are indeed adversely selected. However, we still find that all of our estimators suggest a statistically significant and negative impact of adolescent fertility on educational attainment at age 20. These range from -0.667 to -1.47 fewer years of attainment.

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Presented in Session 44: Economic Development and the Family