The Effect of Young Men's Education and Labor Market Outcomes on Relationship Formation and Fertility in the United States

Troy A. Powell, Duke University
Audrey N. Beck, Duke University

We hypothesize that young men's socioeconomic standing has a positive impact on the timing of first births within the U.S. This paper utilizes theories of marriage formation and economic theories of fertility to investigate the effects of socioeconomic variables (i.e., education, duration to first job, employment stability, occupational status, and income) on the marital and non-marital fertility of young men. Previous research indicates that the socioeconomic standing of young men impacts union formation, but little research has investigated the link between their socioeconomic standing and first births. It is expected that the socioeconomic outcomes of young men will impact the timing of first births both directly and indirectly through union formation. We are also interested in how the effects of socioeconomic factors differ among racial/ethnic groups within the U.S. This paper will contribute to our growing understanding of men's role in the fertility process and delayed fertility within developed countries.

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Presented in Session 108: Men's Reproductive Lives: A Developed Country Perspective