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Born without a Silver Spoon: Race, Wealth, and Unintended Childbearing

Citation

Su, Jessica Houston & Addo, Fenaba R. (2018). Born without a Silver Spoon: Race, Wealth, and Unintended Childbearing. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 39(4), 600-615. PMCID: PMC6301049

Abstract

The United States has a surprisingly high rate of unintended fertility, particularly among women of color. Although studies have examined socioeconomic correlates of unintended fertility, the role of economic resources remains unclear. Wealth may provide an important context for whether a birth was intended or unintended. Moreover, staggering racial wealth disparities may contribute to racial/ethnic patterns of unintended childbearing. This study examines the linkages between wealth and unintended first births, drawing on data from the NLSY79 (N = 1508). Results suggest that net wealth is negatively related to the probability of having an unintended first birth, controlling for a host of sociodemographic characteristics. We also use decomposition analysis to quantify wealth’s contribution to racial/ethnic disparities in unintended childbearing. Second only to marital status, differences in net wealth account for 9–17% of racial/ethnic disparities in unintended childbearing. Our results suggest that wealth is a significant and heretofore overlooked correlate of unintended childbearing.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10834-018-9577-4

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2018

Journal Title

Journal of Family and Economic Issues

Author(s)

Su, Jessica Houston
Addo, Fenaba R.

PMCID

PMC6301049