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

  • 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)

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.

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File URL: http://economics.uoregon.edu/papers/UO-2004-17_Gray_Rising_Share.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Oregon Economics Department in its series University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers with number 2004-17.

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Length: 33
Date of creation: 01 Nov 2004
Date of revision: 01 Nov 2005
Handle: RePEc:ore:uoecwp:2004-17
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Web page: http://economics.uoregon.edu/
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  1. R. A. Moffitt, . "Welfare Benefits and Female Headship in U.S. Time Series," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1219-01, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
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