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Socioeconomic Characteristics, Fertility Norms and the Black-White Fertility Gap in the US

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  • Bastien CHABE-FERRET

    () (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

Abstract

In 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Bastien CHABE-FERRET, 2013. "Socioeconomic Characteristics, Fertility Norms and the Black-White Fertility Gap in the US," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2013011, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2013011
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    File URL: http://sites.uclouvain.be/econ/DP/IRES/2013011.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Daniel Aaronson & Fabian Lange & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2014. "Fertility Transitions along the Extensive and Intensive Margins," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(11), pages 3701-3724, November.
    3. David de la Croix & Matthias Doepke, 2003. "Inequality and Growth: Why Differential Fertility Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1091-1113, September.
    4. Larry E. Jones & Alice Schoonbroodt & Michèle Tertilt, 2010. "Fertility Theories: Can They Explain the Negative Fertility-Income Relationship?," NBER Chapters,in: Demography and the Economy, pages 43-100 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Massimiliano Bratti, 2003. "Labour force participation and marital fertility of Italian women: The role of education," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(3), pages 525-554, August.
    6. repec:cor:louvrp:-1676 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. George Hondroyiannis, 2010. "Fertility Determinants and Economic Uncertainty: An Assessment Using European Panel Data," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 33-50, March.
    8. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst, 2002. "The Transition To Home Ownership And The Black-White Wealth Gap," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 281-297, May.
    9. David Lam & Suzanne Duryea, 1999. "Effects of Schooling on Fertility, Labor Supply, and Investments in Children, with Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 160-192.
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    Keywords

    Fertility - Childlessness - Race - Norms - Education;

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