Savings from Sexual Avoidance and Empowerment over Risks, 2017-2020

Project Overview

The Savings from Sexual Avoidance and Empowerment over Risks (SSAvER) project consists of two studies focused on economic savings. Both studies will engage key stakeholders to identify targeted research questions, operationalize core variables, and identify best practices in economic analysis.

The purpose of the first study is to identify the economic savings associated with teens’ delay of sex. Prior work that assessed costs associated with teen pregnancy and births will be considered, including the identification of outcomes associated with delayed sexual initiation, calculation of causal effects of sexual delay on outcomes, and assignment of dollar values to causal effects. This study will also examine costs and benefits beyond the physical consequences of teen childbearing and acquisition of STDs.

The purpose of the second study is to identify the economic savings associated with adhering to the success sequence. The success sequence refers to a series of life milestones as a means to adult self-sufficiency and well-being. While definitions of the milestones differ, they typically include achieving at least a high school education, finding and maintaining a job, and getting married before having children. Existing research will be considered, including definitions of and outcomes associated with each milestone, calculation of causal effects of each milestone on outcomes, and assignment of dollar values to causal effects.

The primary activities that will inform the economic savings analysis for each study includes: (1) targeted literature review, (2) discussions with experts, and (3) limited analysis of existing data sets.

This project is being conducted under contract to Mathematica Policy Research and is overseen by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, in collaboration with other partners at the Administration for Children and Families and HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health.

The points of contact are Caryn Blitz and Kathleen McCoy.