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

  • Bastien CHABE-FERRET

    ()

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

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.

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Paper 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.

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Length: 24
Date of creation: 17 May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2013011
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  1. George Hondroyiannis, 2009. "Fertility Determinants and Economic Uncertainty:An Assessment Using European Panel Data," Working Papers 96, Bank of Greece.
  2. 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.
  3. David de la Croix & Matthias Doepke, 2001. "Inequality and Growth: Why Differential Fertility Matters," UCLA Economics Working Papers 803, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Raquel Fernandez & Alessandra Fogli, 2005. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility," NBER Working Papers 11268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Massimiliano BRATTI, 2001. "Labour Force Participation and Marital Fertility of Italian Women: The Role of Education," Working Papers 154, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  6. Daniel Aaronson & Fabian Lange & Bhash Mazumder, 2011. "Fertility transitions along the extensive and intensive margins," Working Paper Series WP-2011-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  7. Larry E. Jones & Alice Schoonbroodt & Michèle Tertilt, 2008. "Fertility Theories: Can They Explain the Negative Fertility-Income Relationship?," NBER Working Papers 14266, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 2002. "A Stochastic Model of Mortality, Fertility, and Human Capital Investment," Macroeconomics 0212009, EconWPA.
  9. 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.
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