Did welfare reform influence the fertility of young teens?

Leonard M. Lopoo, Thomas Deleire

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


During the 1990s, states made several reforms to their welfare programs designed to reduce teenage fertility among minors. Among the most prominent of these changes, states started requiring teenage mothers younger than 18 to live with a parent or legal guardian and enroll in high school in order to receive welfare benefits. Using natality data from the National Center for Health Statistics, we compare the trend in fertility rates for young women aged 15 to 17 to the trend for a control group of 18-year-olds. Our estimates imply that the annual percent decline in fertility rates following implementation of these minor parent provisions was 0.7 percentage points larger for young teens than for teens aged 18, a difference of over 22 percent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-298
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Policy Analysis and Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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