Tweet Sixteen and Pregnant: Missing Links in the Causal Chain from Reality TV to Fertility
NBER Working Paper No. 25446
We examine the relationship between social media activity, such as Google searches and tweets, related to teen pregnancy and the airing of the MTV program 16 and Pregnant. In contrast to Kearney and Levine's (2015) claim of a positive relationship, we find that the association is statistically insignificant or negative, when the analysis includes periods when new episodes of the program were not being broadcast. The results are also sensitive to using the total number of tweets, which were growing exponentially, as weights. Our results cast substantial doubt on social media as a link in the causal chain between reality television and fertility.
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25446