Racial Differences in Remarital Fertility in 1910

Andrew S. London, Syracuse University
Cheryl Elman, University of Akron

In this paper, we develop a new approach for studying historical remarital fertility differentials with individual-level, cross-sectional data and use it to investigate hypotheses related to racial differences in remarital fertility. Data come from the 1910 IPUMS. Our methodology provides a means to evaluate differentials in remarital fertility net of the influences of mortality and fostering/aging out/home leaving, as well as other contextual influences. Consistent with "traditional" interpretations of historical African American fertility patterns, which emphasize involuntary influences on fecundity and fertility (e.g., venereal disease, poor health, complications from childbirth), we find that African Americans are less likely than European Americans to have had a remarital birth. However, conditional on having at least one remarital birth (i.e., among those with proven fecundity), there is no significant difference between European and African Americans with respect to the number of remarital births they had. Supplemental analyses indicate that these results are robust.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 2: Union Formation and Dissolution and Parents' Living Arrangements