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Author: Gee, Geoffrey Michael
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Gee, Geoffrey Michael
An Investigation of Socially Contagious Fertility
Ph.D. Dissertation, Duke University, 1998
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: UMI - University Microfilms, Bell and Howell Information and Learning
Keyword(s): Adolescent Fertility; Age at First Birth; Childbearing, Adolescent; Gender Differences; Geocoded Data; Modeling; Motherhood; Peers/Peer influence/Peer relations; Pregnancy, Adolescent; Social Influences; Socioeconomic Factors; Teenagers

"Why do some adolescents enter motherhood while others delay childbearing?" The question, fueled by the common perception of teenage motherhood as a serious social problem, has drawn the attention of academics and politicians alike. Although previous research extended our understanding of the phenomenon, much remains unknown. I examine the theory that social influence is a determinant of teenage motherhood. The model is a synthesis of a traditional economic model of fertility, which stresses the costs and benefits of children, with a threshold model (Granovetter, 1978) of social influence. A sequential framework in the mold of Degraf, Bilsborrow, and Guilkey (1997) is used to model the short-run demand for children. Defining the short- run as adolescence, the decision becomes whether to give birth to one's first child during adolescence or enter adulthood without children. Social influence is incorporated by an adolescent's decision to give birth be "tipped" by the prevalence of first-births within her social network. The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth with Geocode is merged with aggregate natality, abortion access, and socioeconomic data on an adolescent's county of residence. The binary choice of give first-birth or do not give first-birth is estimated by maximum likelihood estimation. The empirical results provide evidence for (1) social influence that affects blacks and whites differently, (2) racial boundaries to peer influence, and (3) age spill-over effects in blacks.
Bibliography Citation
Gee, Geoffrey Michael. An Investigation of Socially Contagious Fertility. Ph.D. Dissertation, Duke University, 1998.