The role of unwanted childbirths on female wages and education
This paper documents how unwanted childbirths relate to women’s education and wages. Unwanted childbirths, especially early in life, can affect women’s education and labor market decisions. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, I document that on average, mothers whose first childbirth was unwanted have lower levels of education, lower wages, and have their first childbirth at younger ages compared to the rest of the mothers. Results are stronger when using a self-reported question about unwantedness, compared with the definition that accounts for pregnancies while using contraception.