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Cohort Effects on Nonmarital Fertility

Jean Stockard (), Jo Gray, Robert O'Brien and Joe Stone ()
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Jean Stockard: University of Oregon Department of Planning, Public Policy, and Management
Robert O'Brien: University of Oregon Sociology Department

University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers from University of Oregon Economics Department

Abstract: The authors employ a newly developed method to disentangle age, period and cohort effects on nonmarital fertility ratios (NFR) from 1972 to 2002 for U.S. women aged 20-44 – with a focus on three specific cohort factors: family structure, school enrollment, and the ratio of men to women. All play significant roles in determining NFR and vary substantially for whites and blacks. Indeed, if black women and white women had cohort characteristics typical of the other group, age-specific NFRs for black women would decline markedly, while those for whites would increase markedly. Hence, cohort related variables contribute substantially to black-white differences in NFR in adulthood. Early family structure and education are particularly crucial in the racial differences. Most distinctively, while the impact of school enrollment on NFR is significantly negative for whites, the impact is significantly positive for blacks, perhaps due to the dominance of the “independence” effect.

Keywords: fertility; cohort; unmarried births; education; family structure; sex ratio (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I38 J10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45
Date: 2007-05-01, Revised 2007-05-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lab
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Handle: RePEc:ore:uoecwp:2007-10