Explaining Trends and Cross-National Differences in Teen Birth Rates in Developed Countries

Julien O. Teitler, Columbia University

In this paper, I use natality data from European countries and the U.S., over a 45-year period, to investigate (1) the effect of sex education on teen birth rates and (2) the effect of adult fertility patterns on teen birth rates. Preliminary findings suggest that the provision of sex education has little effect on teen birth rates and that much but not all of the between-country differences in teen birth rates and the within-country time trends in teen birth rates can be explained by changes in adult age norms associated with parenthood.

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Presented in Session 154: Cross-National Patterns of Fertility