NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

How Does Access to Health Care Affect Teen Fertility and High School Dropout Rates? Evidence from School-based Health Centers

Michael F. Lovenheim, Randall Reback, Leigh Wedenoja

NBER Working Paper No. 22030
Issued in February 2016
NBER Program(s):   CH   ED   HE   PE

Children from low-income families face persistent barriers to accessing high-quality health care services. Previous research studies have examined the importance of expanding children's health insurance coverage, but there is little prior evidence concerning the impacts of directly expanding primary health care access to this population. We address this gap in the literature by exploring whether teenagers' access to primary health care influences their fertility and educational attainment. We study how the significant expansion of school-based health centers (SBHCs) in the United States since the early 1990's has affected teen fertility and high school dropout rates. Our results indicate that school-based health centers have a negative effect on teen birth rates: adding services equivalent to the average SBHC reduces the 15-18 year old birth rate by 5%. The effects are largest among younger teens and among African Americans and Hispanics. However, primary care health services do not reduce high school dropout rates by very much despite the sizable reductions in teen birth rates

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Access to NBER Papers

You are eligible for a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22030

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Almond and Currie w15827 Human Capital Development Before Age Five
Carrell, Hoekstra, and Kuka w22042 The Long-Run Effects of Disruptive Peers
Levitt w22487 Heads or Tails: The Impact of a Coin Toss on Major Life Decisions and Subsequent Happiness
Golberstein, Gonzales, and Meara w22459 Economic Conditions and Children's Mental Health
Carpenter, McClellan, and Rees w22051 Economic Conditions, Illicit Drug Use, and Substance Use Disorders in the United States
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us