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ERIC Number: EJ872445
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 68
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7732
Education Differences in Intended and Unintended Fertility
Musick, Kelly; England, Paula; Edgington, Sarah; Kangas, Nicole
Social Forces, v88 n2 p543-572 Dec 2009
Using a hazards framework and panel data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1979-2004), we analyze the fertility patterns of a recent cohort of white and black women in the United States. We examine how completed fertility varies by women's education, differentiating between intended and unintended births. We find that the education gradient on fertility comes largely from unintended childbearing, and it is not explained by child bearing desires or opportunity costs, the two most common explanations in previous research. Less-educated women want no more children than the more educated, so this factor explains none of their higher completed fertility. Less-educated women have lower wages, but wages have little of the negative effect on fertility predicted by economic theories of opportunity cost. We propose three other potential mechanisms linking low education and unintended childbearing, focusing on access to contraception and abortion, relational and economic uncertainty, and consistency in the behaviors necessary to avoid unintended pregnancies. Our work highlights the need to incorporate these mechanisms into future research. (Contains 16 notes and 3 tables.)
University of North Carolina Press. 116 South Boundary Street, P.O. Box 2288, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2288. Tel: 800-848-6224; Tel: 919-966-7449; Fax: 919-962-2704; e-mail: uncpress@unc.edu; Web site: http://uncpress.unc.edu/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Longitudinal Survey of Youth