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Enrollment and Employment Status and the Likelihood of a Teenage Non-Marital Pregnancy

Authors:
Publication Date:
Jan 1999
Project Programs:
Future of Work

We employed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth (NLSY) to explore the relationship between a young woman's enrollment/employment status and the likelihood that she would experience a non-marital pregnancy. After controlling for differences in observable characteristics, we found that, for whites, the probability of pregnancy in a given month was significantly lower in those months in which young women were enrolled only, employed only, or both enrolled and employed (relative to months in which they were neither enrolled or employed). For Hispanics, we found that the probability of pregnancy in a given month was significantly lower in those months in which young women were enrolled only.

We then tested for, and found evidence of, the presence of unobservable characteristics associated with the likelihood of pregnancy and correlated with enrollment/employment status. After controlling for these differences, we found that the probability of pregnancy continued to be significantly lower in those months in which young white women were either enrolled or both enrolled and employed. In the case of Hispanics, however, enrollment was no longer associated with a significantly lower likelihood of pregnancy.

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