IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/26047.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Fertility Decline in the Civil Rights Era

Author

Listed:
  • Owen Thompson

Abstract

Large black-white fertility differences are a key feature of US demography, and are closely related to the broader dynamics of US racial inequality. To better understand the origins and determinants of racial fertility differentials, this paper examines fertility patterns in the period surrounding passage and implementation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which precipitated a period of rapid socioeconomic and political progress among African Americans, with these gains strongly concentrated in the South. I first show that the relative fertility of southern black women precipitously declined immediately after 1964. Specifically, as of 1964 the general fertility rate of southern black women was 53 births greater than the general fertility rate of southern white women, but by 1969 this gap had fallen to 33 births, a decline of approximately 40% in five years. The black-white fertility gap outside of the South was unchanged over this period. Measures of completed childbearing similarly show rapid black-white fertility convergence in the South but not in the North. An analysis of potential mechanisms finds that a substantial share of the observed fertility convergence can be explained by relative improvements in the earnings of southern blacks, and that the historical intensity of slavery and lynching activity are the strongest spacial correlates of fertility convergence

Suggested Citation

  • Owen Thompson, 2019. "Fertility Decline in the Civil Rights Era," NBER Working Papers 26047, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26047
    Note: CH LS PE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w26047.pdf
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at http://www.nber.org/wwphelp.html. Free access is also available to older working papers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kenneth Y. Chay & Jonathan Guryan & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2009. "Birth Cohort and the Black-White Achievement Gap: The Roles of Access and Health Soon After Birth," NBER Working Papers 15078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Martha J. Bailey & Andrew Goodman-Bacon, 2015. "The War on Poverty's Experiment in Public Medicine: Community Health Centers and the Mortality of Older Americans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 1067-1104, March.
    3. Martha J. Bailey, 2012. "Reexamining the Impact of Family Planning Programs on US Fertility: Evidence from the War on Poverty and the Early Years of Title X," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 62-97, April.
    4. Douglas Almond & Hilary W. Hoynes & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2011. "Inside the War on Poverty: The Impact of Food Stamps on Birth Outcomes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 387-403, May.
    5. Elizabeth Cascio & Nora Gordon & Ethan Lewis & Sarah Reber, 2010. "Paying for Progress: Conditional Grants and the Desegregation of Southern Schools," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 445-482.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26047. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.