Grandparents, moms, or dads? Why children of teen mothers do worse in life

Link to Publication (External Site)

We explore whether and why children born to teen mothers have worse outcomes later in life. Using Norwegian register data, we compare outcomes of children of sisters who have first births at different ages. We find that the causal effect of being a child of a teen mother is much smaller than that implied by the cross-sectional differences but that there are probably still significant long-term, adverse consequences, especially for children born to the youngest teen mothers. We have information on fathers and find that negative selection of fathers of children born to teen mothers plays an important role in producing inferior child outcomes. These effects are particularly large for mothers from higher socio-economic groups.