The effect of violent crime on teenage pregnancy in Mexico

  • Magda TsanevaEmail author
  • Pinar Mine Gunes


This paper explores the effect of violent crime on teenage pregnancy in Mexico using data from a nationally representative longitudinal survey conducted before and after an unexpected surge in violence. In order to identify the effects, we use a triple difference-in-differences strategy exploiting variation in (i) exposure to the surge in violence between sample periods, (ii) the intensity of violence as measured by municipal homicide rates, and (iii) age of different cohorts. We find that the average increase in homicide rates over the study period reduced the probability of teenage pregnancy by approximately 1.5%. We also demonstrate that the effect is more acute among women with worse economic conditions prior to the surge in violence. Analysis of mechanisms shows that reductions in teenage pregnancy is partly explained by changes in the sexual behavior of young women.


Violent crime Teenage pregnancy Difference-in-differences Mexico 

JEL classification

J13 D74 K42 I31 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsClark UniversityWorcesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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