Explaining Female Teenagers' Sexual Behavior and Outcomes: A Bivariate Probit Analysis with Selectivity Correction

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Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) data, this article estimates a model of teenage childbearing. The model recognizes that teenage childbearing is conditional on earlier sexual activity and that such activity is undertaken by only a portion of the female teenage population. Consequently, rather than estimate a single equation for birth probability as much past research has done, a bivariate probit model with selectivity correction is estimated to account for the sequential nature of the process. An important result of this research suggests that AFDC benefits play a role in the decision to become sexually active as well as to become a teenage parent.

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