How Does Unintended Pregnancy Affect the Outcomes of Older Children? Evidence from a New Randomized Control Trial

January 18, 2018

In the United States, nearly half of pregnancies are unintended, and unintended pregnancies occur five times more often among poor compared to affluent women. The consequences of unintended pregnancy for women’s education and earnings are substantial, and children born as a result of unintended pregnancy are much more likely to live in poverty compared to children whose births are intended.

The implications of unintended pregnancies for older siblings are comparatively understudied, but children born to women who subsequently have an unintended pregnancy are likely to be affected by her decreased income and by the need to distribute household resources across more children. This project lays the ground work for a novel study of the effects of unintended pregnancies on older children. Building upon a large randomized control trial in Michigan that increases the affordability of contraceptives for women, researchers examine the short and long-term outcomes for older children in terms of their schooling, juvenile delinquency, foster care, and participation in public transfer programs.

Martha J. Bailey, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics, and Research Professor
Institute for Social Research

Paula Fomby, Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor
Institute for Social Research

Alfia Karimova, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Scientist
Institute for Social Research