Race Differences in Men’s Nonmarital First Births in Early Adulthood

Kimberly J. Turner, Cornell University

This paper examines race differences in men’s nonmarital first births in early adulthood. It asks whether racial disparities in men’s nonmarital childbearing stem from compositional (observed endowments) or relational (i.e., estimated “returns” to endowments) differences. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1997 cohort, I examine the antecedents of nonmarital childbearing for 1,798 white and 851 black men between the ages of 18 and 25 with logistic regression within a discrete-time framework. Nearly 40% of young, unmarried black men have a nonmarital birth compared to only 15% of white peers. Young black men are more than twice as likely to experience nonmarital childbearing as their white counterparts, net controls for economic capacities, parental background, and sexual behaviors. A quarter of the black-white differential in nonmarital first births in early adulthood can be attributed to race differences in socioeconomic and demographic composition.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 6