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The rising share of nonmarital births: A response to Ermisch, Martin, and Wu


  • Jo Anna Gray

    () (University of Oregon Economics Department)

  • Jean Stockhard

    () (University of Oregon PPPM Department)

  • Joe A. Stone

    () (University of Oregon Economics Department)


We are flattered that our recent paper in Demography, GSS (2006), has attracted such close attention from Ermisch Martin and Wu (EMW). In this response we appreciate the opportunity to expand on several key aspects of our paper, but see no reason to substantially revise any of our major conclusions based on EMW comments. Reading EMW, one might think we had proposed the demographic equivalent of Newton’s second law of thermodynamics – the existence of a universal phenomenon, manifest in identical form in all places, for all groups, during all times periods, regardless of circumstances. It will be helpful, then, to review briefly the central points in GSS before turning to the major EMW comments, along with our responses.

Suggested Citation

  • Jo Anna Gray & Jean Stockhard & Joe A. Stone, 2008. "The rising share of nonmarital births: A response to Ermisch, Martin, and Wu," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2008-7, University of Oregon Economics Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ore:uoecwp:2008-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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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    More about this item


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

    JEL classification:

    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
    • B21 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Microeconomics


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