Economics at your fingertips  

An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States

George A. Akerlof, Janet L. Yellen and Michael L. Katz

The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1996, vol. 111, issue 2, pages 277-317

Abstract: This paper relates the erosion of the custom of shotgun marriage to the legalization of abortion and the increased availability of contraception to unmarried women in the United States. The decline in shotgun marriage accounts for a significant fraction of the increase in out-of-wedlock first births. Several models illustrate the analogy between women who do not adopt either birth control or abortion and the hand-loom weavers, both victims of changing technology. Mechanisms causing female immiseration are modeled and historically described. This technology-shock hypothesis is an alternative to welfare and job-shortage theories of the feminization of poverty.

Date: 1996
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this article

The Quarterly Journal of Economics is currently edited by Robert J. Barro, Elhanan Helpman, Lawrence F. Katz and Andrei Schleifer

More articles in The Quarterly Journal of Economics from Oxford University Press
Series data maintained by Oxford University Press ().

Page updated 2015-11-09
Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:2:p:277-317.