Income Inequality and Early, Non-Marital Childbearing
Melissa Kearney and Phillip Levine ,
( 49 )
Journal of Human Resources

Using individual-level data from the United States, we empirically investigate the role of lower-tail income inequality in determining rates of early nonmarital childbearing among low socioeconomic status (SES) women. We present robust evidence that young low-SES women are more likely to have a nonmarital birth when they live in places with larger lowertail income inequality, all else held constant. We calculate that differences in the level of inequality are able to explain a sizeable share of the geographic variation in teen fertility rates.

Links to Researchers