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  • br Introduction While fertility in Brazil has

    2018-10-23


    Introduction While fertility in Brazil has declined sharply in the past decades, teenage fertility is still considerably high. Data from the World Health Organization shows that in 2008 about 16 million girls aged 15–19 gave birth; this order NSC74859 roughly corresponds to 11% of all births worldwide. Half of the births by teenage mothers occurred in the following seven countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, and the United States. According to the World Bank there were 75 births per 1000 women aged 15–19 in Brazil in 2008. This figure is higher than those of similar or even less developed countries in the region, such as Argentina (56), Paraguay (71), and Peru (54). For comparison this indicator is much higher in African countries such as Niger (209) and Angola (188). Among developed countries, the United States (38) and the United Kingdom (26) have the highest results. Data from the Demographic Health Survey (DHS, 1986 and 1996) and the National Survey on Demography and Health of Women and Children (PNDS, 2006) show that Brazil has experienced increases in teenage pregnancy, as measured by the percentage of teenagers who became pregnant (13.1% in 1986, 17.9% in 1996 and 23.1% in 2006). Azevedo et al. (2012) mentions another study that uses DHS data for 59 countries from 1990 to 2002. Their results suggest that the increase in Brazilian teenage pregnancy is largely due to the increase in the proportion of sexually active teenagers. Early evidence on the consequences of early motherhood has found a strong association between childbearing at young ages and the mother\'s subsequent economic and social indicators. Young mothers are less likely to complete high school, less likely to participate in the labor force, more likely to have lower earnings, and at higher risk of welfare dependency than women who did not bear children as teenagers. These studies have attempted to disentangle the effect of teenage childbearing per se and the effect driven by the previous socioeconomic status of the teenage mothers. They sought to eliminate the bias that arises from endogenous fertility by using methods such as family fixed effects (siblings) and instrumental variables (twins, sibling sex composition, miscarriages, sisters’ fertility, and local access to reproductive health services). Geronimus and Korenman (1992) use family fixed-effect and a sample of sisters from various data sources in the US. Their results suggest that the effects of teen childbearing on measures of future socioeconomic well-being are lower or insignificant compared to those obtained by previous cross-section studies that do not account for unobserved family background. Goodman et al. (2004) found zero effects on labor supply, experience and earnings in the UK, using miscarriages as instrument. On the other hand, positive impacts were obtained by Hotz et al. (2005) using the same instrument and US data. Conversely, negative effects on completed years of schooling and future family income were found by Ribar (1999) using both family fixed effects and family fixed effects with sister\'s fertility as instrument, with the last being even stronger in magnitude than the OLS estimate. Fletcher and Wolfe (2009) use a sample from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) of women who became pregnant as teens. As the comparison group they consider those women who had a miscarriage, since these probably did not voluntarily terminate the pregnancy. The study also includes community fixed effects; it finds that teenage childbearing leads to large reductions in wages and income as well as to a modest reduction in the probability of completing high school. Early childbearing is often associated with (i) financial resources (family income), (ii) the mother\'s time cost of childbearing and how it varies over the life cycle (this includes cross-price effects of education or direct child care costs), (iii) birth control, and (iv) infant mortality (Schultz, 1997).