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The Rising Share of Nonmarital Births: Fertility Choices or Marriage Behavior?

Author

Listed:
  • Jo Anna Gray

    () (University of Oregon Economics Department)

  • Jean Stockard

    () (University of Oregon Department of Planning, Public Policy, and Management)

  • Joe Stone

    () (University of Oregon Economics Department)

Abstract

Much of the sharp rise in the share of nonmarital births in the United States has been attributed to changes in the fertility choices of unmarried and married women - in response, it is often argued, to various public policies. In contrast, we develop and test a model that attributes the rise to changes in marriage behavior, with no changes in fertility. A variety of empirical tests strongly supports this conclusion and invites focused attention to issues related to marriage behavior, as well as the interactions between marriage and fertility.

Suggested Citation

  • Jo Anna Gray & Jean Stockard & Joe Stone, 2004. "The Rising Share of Nonmarital Births: Fertility Choices or Marriage Behavior?," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2004-17, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Nov 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:ore:uoecwp:2004-17
    as

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    File URL: http://economics.uoregon.edu/papers/UO-2004-17_Gray_Rising_Share.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert A. Moffitt, 2000. "Welfare Benefits and Female Headship in U.S. Time Series," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 373-377, May.
    2. Jeff Grogger & Stephen G. Bronars, 2001. "The Effect of Welfare Payments on the Marriage and Fertility Behavior of Unwed Mothers: Results from a Twins Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 529-545, June.
    3. Marianne Bitler & Jonah Gelbach & Hilary Hoynes & Madeline Zavodny, 2004. "The impact of welfare reform on marriage and divorce," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(2), pages 213-236, May.
    4. Herbert Smith & Phillips Cutright, 1988. "Thinking about change in illegitimacy ratios: United States, 1963–1983," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 25(2), pages 235-247, May.
    5. Dawn Upchurch & Lee Lillard & Constantijn Panis, 2002. "Nonmarital childbearing: Influences of education, marriage, and fertility," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(2), pages 311-329, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Joe Stone, 2012. "The Black-White Gap in Non Marital Fertility: Education and Mates in Segmented Marriage Markets," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 328-336, September.
    2. Brienna Perelli-Harris & Michaela Kreyenfeld & Wendy Sigle-Rushton & Renske Keizer & Trude Lappegård & Aiva Jasilioniene & Caroline Berghammer & Paola Di Giulio & Katja Köppen, 2009. "The increase in fertility in cohabitation across Europe: examining the intersection between union status and childbearing," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-021, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    3. Fletcher, Jason M. & Polos, Jessica, 2017. "Nonmarital and Teen Fertility," IZA Discussion Papers 10833, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Yujin Kim & R. Raley, 2015. "Race-Ethnic Differences in the Non-marital Fertility Rates in 2006–2010," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 34(1), pages 141-159, February.
    5. Jo Anna Gray & Joe Stone, 2014. "Understanding Measures Of Nonmarital Fertility: The Roles Of Marriage And Access To Human Capital," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(2), pages 288-305, April.
    6. Todd D. Kendall & Robert Tamura, 2010. "Unmarried Fertility, Crime, and Social Stigma," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 185-221, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fertility; illegitimacy ratio; marriage; nonmarital fertility ratio; nonmarital births;

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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