Centre for Vocational Education Research LSE RSS Email Facebook Twitter


CEP discussion paper
The Long-Run Labour Market Consequences of Teenage Motherhood in Britain
Arnaud Chevalier and Tarja K. Viitanen
January 2002
Paper No' CEPDP0516:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: I200; J130; J310

Tags: teenage pregnancy; schooling decisions; wages

Common wisdom states that teenage childbearing reduces schooling, labour market experience and adult wages. However, the decisions to be a teenage mother, to quit school, and be less attached to the labour market might all stem from some personal or family characteristics. Using the National Child Development Study (NCDS), we find that in Britain teenage childbearing decreases the probability of post-16 schooling by 12% to 24%. Employment experience is reduced by up to three years, and the adult pay differential ranges from 5% to 22%. The negative impact of teen motherhood on various adult outcomes is not due to some pre-motherhood characteristics; hence policies aiming to encourage return to school and participation in the labour market may be an efficient way to reduce the long-term consequences of teenage pregnancy.