Socioeconomic Characteristics, Fertility Norms and the Black-White Fertility Gap in the US
AbstractIn this article, I examine the large Black / White fertility gap in the US. I question the "compositional argument" according to which differences in socioeconomic characteristics would be the main driver of this gap. Indeed, once controlled for education, other characteristics such as income, employment and marital status do not help to close the gap. I therefore test whether the difference could stem from the fact that individuals inherit of race-specic fertility norms. I show that Black women who were born in a state where past cohorts of Black women had a high fertility rate tend to have more children. Moreover I have found that this effect diminishes as education increases. The transmission of fertility norms therefore seems to be a good candidate to explain racial differences in fertility in the US, as it is consistent with larger differences for less educated individuals.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2013011.
Date of creation: 17 May 2013
Date of revision:
Fertility - Childlessness - Race - Norms - Education;
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