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Cohort Effects on Nonmarital Fertility

Listed author(s):
  • Jean Stockard


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

  • Jo Anna Gray


    (University of Oregon Economics Department)

  • Robert O'Brien

    (University of Oregon Sociology Department)

  • Joe Stone


    (University of Oregon Economics Department)

The authors employ a newly developed method to disentangle age, period and cohort effects on nonmarital fertility ratios (NFR) from 1972 to 2002 for U.S. women aged 20-44 – with a focus on three specific cohort factors: family structure, school enrollment, and the ratio of men to women. All play significant roles in determining NFR and vary substantially for whites and blacks. Indeed, if black women and white women had cohort characteristics typical of the other group, age-specific NFRs for black women would decline markedly, while those for whites would increase markedly. Hence, cohort related variables contribute substantially to black-white differences in NFR in adulthood. Early family structure and education are particularly crucial in the racial differences. Most distinctively, while the impact of school enrollment on NFR is significantly negative for whites, the impact is significantly positive for blacks, perhaps due to the dominance of the “independence” effect.

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Paper provided by University of Oregon Economics Department in its series University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers with number 2007-10.

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Length: 45
Date of creation: 01 May 2007
Date of revision: 01 May 2007
Handle: RePEc:ore:uoecwp:2007-10
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