NBER

Leigh R. Wedenoja

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Institutional Affiliation: Rockefeller Institute of Government

NBER Working Papers and Publications

February 2016How Does Access to Health Care Affect Teen Fertility and High School Dropout Rates? Evidence from School-based Health Centers
with Michael F. Lovenheim, Randall Reback: w22030
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 equivale...

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