Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Demography
Title Early teen marriage and future poverty
Volume 47
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
Page numbers 689-718
URL https://core.ac.uk/download/files/153/6646178.pdf
Both early teen marriage and dropping out of high school have historically been associated with a
variety of negative outcomes, including higher poverty rates throughout life. Are these negative outcomes
due to pre-existing differences or do they represent the causal effect of marriage and schooling choices?
To better understand the true personal and societal consequences, this paper uses an instrumental
variables approach which takes advantage of variation in state laws regulating the age at which individuals
are allowed to marry, drop out of school, and begin work. The baseline IV estimate indicates that
a woman who marries young is 31 percentage points more likely to live in poverty when she is older.
Similarly, a woman who drops out of school is 11 percentage points more likely to be poor. The results
are robust to a variety of alternative specifications and estimation methods, including LIML estimation
and a control function approach. While grouped OLS estimates for the early teen marriage variable
are also large, OLS estimates based on individual-level data are small, consistent with a large amount
of measurement error

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