High-schoolers begin developing more mature thinking skills and may start setting goals for the future. Just as with middle-schoolershigh-schoolers develop at widely varied rates. For the most part, tweens turn into high-schoolers who start looking more like adults while also building the skills to think about and plan for the future.
In addition, the end of high school means transitions to college, into jobs, into the military, or out of the foster care system.
Both early teen marriage and dropping out of high school have historically been associated with a variety of negative outcomes, including higher poverty rates throughout life. Are these negative outcomes due to preexisting differences, or do they represent the causal effect of marriage and schooling choices? To better understand the true personal and societal consequences, in this article, I use an instrumental variables IV approach that takes advantage of variation in state laws regulating the age at which individuals are allowed to marry, drop out of school, and begin work. The baseline IV estimate indicates that a woman who marries young is 31 percentage points more likely to live in poverty when she is older.
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