Format of Original
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press (MIT Press)
Review of Economics and Statistics
Original Item ID
We examine peer effects in teen childbearing among close friends, using miscarriages as a natural experiment. We use 775 women from the core sample of Add Health who had a friend with a teen pregnancy. We find a sizable negative treatment effect – a close friend's teen birth is associated with a 6 percentage point reduction in the likelihood of own teen pregnancy and childbearing. There is evidence that this effect operates through a learning mechanism by changing beliefs regarding early childbearing. Effects of teen pregnancy prevention policies may be partially offset by reductions in the opportunities for social learning.