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.
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