S. Philip Morgan's research while affiliated with University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and other places

Publications (105)

Article
Using nineteen panels of the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY-79), we construct life-lines characterizing women's childless expectations and fertility behavior. One-quarter of women in the NLSY-79 cohort ever reported an expectation for childlessness but only 14.8 percent of women remain childless. Childless women follow two predomi...
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We focus on a small but growing segment of the U.S. population, those who identify as Chinese, Japanese and Korean (CJK), and compare CJK fertility to other race/ethnic groups in the United States. CJK women in the U.S. exhibit a distinct, pervasive, and persistent pattern of late and low fertility with nearly all births occurring within marriage;...
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The Hispanic Paradox in birth outcomes is well documented for the US as a whole, but little work has considered geographic variation underlying the national pattern. This inquiry is important given the rapid growth of the Hispanic population and its geographic dispersion. Using birth records data from 2014 through 2016, we document state variation...
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Background: Unwanted fertility is the key concept necessary to assess the potential impact of more perfect fertility control. Measuring this continues to be a significant challenge, with several plausible competing measurement strategies. Retrospective strategies ask respondents, either during pregnancy or after birth, to recall if they wanted a(n...
Article
We use data from India's National Family Health Survey (conducted in 1992-93, 1998-99, and 2005-06) to study gender discrimination across India among children aged 0-35 months. We focus on four measures of parental investment: (1) immunization, (2) received medical treatment for acute respiratory infection (ARI), (3) breastfed beyond 17 months, and...
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Social inequalities in health and human capital are core concerns of sociologists, but little research examines the developmental stage when such inequalities are likely to emerge—the transition to adulthood. With new data and innovative statistical methods, we conceptually develop, and empirically operationalize, pathways of physical health and hu...
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Having an unintended birth is strongly associated with the likelihood of having later unintended births. We use detailed longitudinal data from the Add Health Study (N = 8300) to investigate whether a host of measured sociodemographic, personality, and psychosocial characteristics select women into this “trajectory” of unintended childbearing. Whil...
Article
References to the second demographic transition (SDT) have increased dramatically in the past two decades. The SDT predicts unilinear change toward very low fertility and a diversity of union and family types. The primary driver of these changes is a powerful, inevitable, and irreversible shift in attitudes and norms in the direction of greater ind...
Article
Even though Pakistan is a highly patriarchal society, it has not featured prominently in studies focusing on sex-selective abortion and sex ratios at birth. But with fertility declining and existing strong son preference-Pakistan has one of the highest desired sex ratios in the world-how will Pakistani families respond? In the pursuit of sons, will...
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Household spending on children’s pre-tertiary education is exceptionally high in Japan and South Korea, and has been cited as a cause of low fertility. Previous research attributes this high spending to a cultural emphasis on education in East Asian countries. In this paper, we argue that institutional factors, namely higher education and labor mar...
Article
Pollard and Morgan (2002) argued that the parental mixed-gender preference (i.e., parents' preference to have at least one son and one daughter) will weaken in the United States as aspects of gender become increasingly deinstitutionalized. They presented evidence that mixed-gender preference weakened in the 1986–1995 period compared to earlier and...
Chapter
When a human population has underlying birth rates too low to sustain its current population size, it has below-replacement fertility. If mortality rates are low, then replacement-level fertility is slightly above two births per woman. Currently, over 50% of the global population lives in a country with below-replacement fertility; below-replacemen...
Chapter
Unlike most other developed countries, the United States has not experienced sustained periods with fertility well below the replacement level. Thus, government policy is not directed toward increasing or decreasing overall levels of fertility. There is substantial fertility variation in the United States, however, by state/region, level of religio...
Article
Using a conceptual framework focusing on factors that enhance or reduce fertility relative to desired family size (see Bongaarts 2001), we study fertility variation across time (1992-2006) and space (states) in India. Our empirical analyses use data from three waves of the Indian National Family Health Surveys. We find that this framework can accou...
Article
Recessions can alter family life by constraining the choices that individuals and couples make concerning their family lives and by activating the family’s role as an emergency support system. Both effects were visible during and after the Great Recession. Fertility declined by 9 to 11 percent, depending on the measure, and the decline was greater...
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A huge literature shows that teen mothers face a variety of detriments across the life course, including truncated educational attainment. To what extent is this association causal? The estimated effects of teen motherhood on schooling vary widely, ranging from no discernible difference to 2.6 fewer years among teen mothers. The magnitude of educat...
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We examine the use and value of fertility intentions against the backdrop of theory and research in the cognitive and social sciences. First, we draw on recent brain and cognition research to contextualize fertility intentions within a broader set of conscious and unconscious mechanisms that contribute to mental function. Next, we integrate this re...
Article
We estimate trends and racial differentials in marriage, cohabitation, union formation and dissolution (union regimes) for the period 1970–2002 in the United States. These estimates are based on an innovative application of multistate life table analysis to pooled survey data. Our analysis demonstrates (1) a dramatic increase in the lifetime propor...
Chapter
In questioning the usefulness of Gangestad’s concept of evoked culture as an explanation for major shifts in family and fertility behavior, I offer an alternative way to conceptualize the role of biological predispositions and potential that focuses on the human brain. Brain evolution, brain development, and brain functioning are the keys to unders...
Article
Karen grew up in inner city Philadelphia. She started seeing Bill, a 20 year-old handyman, when she was 16 and soon became pregnant. Karen dropped out of high school during her third trimester, and moved in with Bill. Karen and Bill lived together for about a year and a half before they broke up. Karen now lives at home in a small apartment with he...
Chapter
Our project in this book aims at consilience, a term popularized by Wilson (1998, p. 8) to signify a “jumping together” of perspectives and facts to produce a “unity of knowledge”. In this way, our efforts resonate with current trends toward multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary theory and research. It is important to note that seeking consilienc...
Article
Fertility has declined dramatically over the last half-century while substantial variations in fertility levels remain (see United Nations, 2008). Specifically, fertility remains well above replacement levels in many African countries and in some Asian and Latin American and Caribbean countries; fertility levels in developed—and increasingly some d...
Article
This chapter describes the theory of conjunctural action (TCA). In developing it, we draw primarily on the “duality of structure” model developed by Sewell (1992, 2005) in his account of historical change, and on the related models of society and history in Bourdieu (1977, 1998) and Giddens (1979, 1984). However, we also begin to draw on a broad ar...
Article
Over the past 40 years, a new social field has emerged in the United States: the field of infertility. This social field has a unique set of institutions, social positions, and norms; a plethora of fora for public engagement; and a unique lexicon. Its institutions include clinics and laboratories, financial institutions, legal specialties, adoption...
Book
Fertility rates vary considerably across and within societies, and over time. Over the last three decades, social demographers have made remarkable progress in documenting these axes of variation, but theoretical models to explain family change and variation have lagged behind. At the same time, our sister disciplines—from cultural anthropology to...
Article
Below Replacement Fertility Preferences in Shanghai China has joined the group of low-fertility countries; it has a total fertility rate somewhere in the range of 1.4 to 1.6. Much speculation about China’s future fertility depends on whether individual’s fertility intentions and preferences are much higher than the state’s fertility goals. If so, t...
Article
China has joined the group of low-fertility countries; it has a TFR somewhere in the range of 1.4 to 1.6. Much speculation about China's future fertility depends on whether individual's fertility intentions and preferences are much higher than the state's fertility goals. If so, then a relaxation of family planning restrictions could lead to a subs...
Article
The child-care and fertility hypothesis has been in the literature for a long time and is straightforward: As child care becomes more available, affordable, and acceptable, the antinatalist effects of increased female educational attainment and work opportunities decrease. As an increasing number of countries express concern about low fertility, th...
Article
Fertility change has been one of the most important foci of social science over the past half-century. The body of knowledge accumulated is impressive and can account for both the decline of fertility from high to low levels (the fertility transition) and variation in fertility at both high and low levels. Explanation has been both at the level of...
Article
Fertility change has been one of the most important foci of social science over the past half-century. The body of knowledge accumulated is impressive and can account for both the decline of fertility from high to low levels (the fertility transition) and variation in fertility at both high and low levels. Explanation has been both at the level of...
Article
Objective. The objective of this article is to identify the sociodemographic correlates of Internet dating net of selective processes that determine who is “at risk.” We also examine the role of computer literacy, social networks, and attitudes toward Internet dating among single Internet users. Methods. We use multivariate logistic regression to a...
Article
Using data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we describe the correspondence between intended family size and observed fertility for US men and women in the 1957-64 birth cohorts. Mean fertility intentions calculated from reports given in the mid-20s modestly overstate completed fertility. But discrepancies between stated intent a...
Article
Using data from the 2002 Iran Fertility Transition Survey, we examined birth control use between marriage and first pregnancy. We focused on the post-1990 increase in birth control use and develop two explanations. The first posits that birth control use reflects a new marriage form, the conjugal marriage, which places a heightened value on the spo...
Article
Between 1970 and 1990, China experiencoed a rapid and sharp fertility decline-from total fertility rates of approximately six births to two. The degree to which Chinese fertility has continued to fall after 1990 is controversial. We use survey data from the 1997 National Population and Reproductive Health Survey and from the 2001 Reproductive Healt...
Article
In recent decades, rapid growth of the U.S. Hispanic population has raised concerns about immigrant adaptation, including fertility. Empirical research suggests that Hispanics, especially Mexicans, might not be following the historical European pattern of rapid intergenerational fertility decline (and convergence toward native levels). If confirmed...
Article
We assess the quality of retrospective data on cohabitation by comparing data collected in four major U.S. family surveys: the National Survey of Families and Households and three rounds of the National Survey of Family Growth. We use event-history analysis to analyze rates of entry into cohabitation in age-period-cohort segments captured by multip...
Article
Using data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth, we show that women who report that religion is “very important” in their everyday life have both higher fertility and higher intended fertility than those saying religion is “somewhat important” or “not important” Factors such as unwanted fertility, age at childbearing or degree of fertilit...
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Childhood lead poisoning remains a critical environmental health concern. Low-level lead exposure has been linked to decreased performance on standardized IQ tests for school-aged children. In this study we sought to determine whether blood lead levels in early childhood are related to educational achievement in early elementary school as measured...
Article
Both sociological and economic theories posit that widely available, high-quality, and affordable child care should have pronatalist effects. Yet to date, the empirical evidence has not consistently supported this hypothesis. We argue that this previous empirical work has been plagued by the inability to control for endogenous placement of day care...
Article
In the past few decades, demographic concerns have shifted from rapid population growth fueled by high fertility to concerns of population decline produced by very low, sub-replacement fertility levels. Once considered a problem unique to Europe or developed nations, concerns now center on the global spread of low fertility. Nearly half of the worl...
Article
Twenty years ago, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) issued a request for proposals that resulted in the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH), a unique survey valuable to a wide range of family scholars. This paper describes the efforts of an interdisciplinary group of family demographers to build on t...
Article
Cross-nationally, observed fertility is well below mean levels of reported ideal family size and also usually well below survey respondents' fertility desires and intentions. The United States is an exception. In this article we: (1) discuss the importance of fertility ideals and intentions for understanding observed fertility levels, (2) propose a...
Article
Advances in biotechnology have important applications to the core demographic concerns of human reproduction and longevity, raising a number of difficult ethical issues. In the debate over those issues, however, the voices of demographers and other social scientists are nearly silent. In the United States the dominant bioethical arguments currently...
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This paper examines Muslim-Hindu differences in the desire for an additional child and the use of contraceptives. It uses data from the National Family Health Survey carried out in 1998-99 and employs multivariate and multilevel regression models in data analysis. Results show that Muslim-Hindu differences in the desire for additional children and...
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This paper examines Muslim-Hindu differences in the desire for an additional child and the use of contraceptives. It uses data from the National Family Health Survey carried out in 1998-99 and employs multivariate and multilevel regression models in data analysis. Results show that Muslim-Hindu differences in the desire for additional children and...
Article
Using the 1993 Indian Family and Health Survey, we examined Muslim-Hindu differences in (1) the parity-specific intent to have another child and (2) given a stated intent for no more children, reports of the current use of contraceptives. We found that Muslims are much more likely than Hindus to intend to have additional children and, among those w...
Article
Nearly half of the world's population in 2000 lived in countries with fertility rates at or below replacement level, and nearly all countries will reach low fertility levels in the next two decades. Concerns about low fertility, fertility that is well below replacement, are widespread. But there are both persistent rationales for having children an...
Article
Building on a framework suggested by Bongaarts (2001)and using data from the 1979 National LongitudinalSurvey of Youth, we describe the correspondencebetween intended family size and observed fertilityfor the 1957 to 1961 birth cohorts of U.S. women andmen. Over an 18-year period (1982–2000), we showthat while aggregate intentions are quite stable,...
Article
Parity-specific probabilities of having a next birth are estimated from national fertility data and are compared with nation-specific costs of having children as measured by time-budget data, by attitude data from the International Social Survey Program, and by panel data on labor earnings and standard of living changes following a birth. We focus...
Article
Using data for 1960–97 for 22 low fertility countries, we document a dramatic change in the association of fertility levels to women''s levels of labor force participation. Until the 1980s, this association had been strongly negative. However, during the 1980s itbecame positive, and since 1990 strongly positive. We also document an emerging positiv...
Article
Log-linear methods provide a powerful framework and the statistical apparatus for rigorously analyzing categorical data. These methods were introduced and developed by Leo Goodman and others in the early 1970s. In the late 1970s and the early 1980s, Goodman, Alan Agresti, Clifford Clogg, Otis Dudley Duncan, and others showed how these models could...
Article
Using pooled data from the 1980, 1985, 1990 and 1995 CPS and 1988 and 1995 NSFG surveys, we show that shifts in fertility timing have occurred disproportionately for the more educated and for whites (compared to the less educated and to African Americans). Such timing shifts imply that the underlying period quantum of fertility is considerably high...
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For much of the twentieth century, parents in the United States with two children of the same sex were more likely to have a third child than were parents with one son and one daughter, that is, there was an effect of the sex of previous children on the occurrence of a third birth. Using multiple cycles of the Current Population Survey and National...
Article
On the basis of research on paired Muslim and non-Muslim communities selected in India, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines, the authors test the hypothesis that greater observed Muslim pronatalism can be explained by less power or lower autonomy among Muslim women. Indeed, wives in the Muslim communities, compared to the non-Muslim ones: 1) ha...
Article
Extending work of Cook et al. (1999, 1996), this paper examines abortion funding cutoffs for poor women in North Carolina, a unique setting allowing for a strong quasi-experimental design. Using vital registration data and additional administrative data from North Carolina, we decompose program effects on the abortion/birth ratio into two component...
Article
Demography typifies paradigmatic success; that is, cumulative scientific work that has provided useful perspectives on a set of important questions. This success can be traced partly to the core subject matter of demography, which is relatively conducive to quantitative, observational science. The development of demography was further aided by extr...
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We re-examine Morgan, Lye and Condran's (1988) findings that couples with daughters (as opposed to sons) have higher risks of separation/divorce. We analyze the 1980 Current Population Survey (CPS) data used by Morgan et.al. but supplement it with comparable 1985, 1990 and 1995 CPS data. Thus, we can extend the time period covered and expand the an...
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This review examines arguments and evidence pertaining to the question: why have children in settings where the net economic costs of children are clearly substantial? Thereview is organized around three themes: biologicalpredispositions, environment (social coercion) and rationalchoice. Specifically, we explore the argument that evolution hasprodu...
Article
Using data from the 1980, 1985, and 1990 Current Population Surveys, we show that the link between early fertility and nonmarital births has become stronger. Women who give birth earlier are increasingly likely to be unmarried. In contrast, we find a weaker association between first births at young (versus older) ages and (1) a rapid pace of subseq...
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Using the first wave of the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH-I), we analyze the joint distribution of wives' and husbands' answers regarding whether the division of household chores is “fair.” Responses comprise a 5-point scale, from “very unfair to me” to “very unfair to her/him” with “fair to both” as a middle category. It is well...
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The authors argue that racial differences in contemporary family patterns in the United States reflect substantial cultural and historical continuity of African and Western European family patterns. Discussion focuses on the coresidence of mothers and young children. Using data from the Public Use Samples of the 1910 Census, the authors show that A...
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Using pooled data from the 1980, 1985, and 1990 Current Population Surveys, we describe fertility trends by age and education for the period 1963-1989. Interest focuses on whether the effects of education have changed across this period. We show that women with college degrees experienced dramatic shifts toward later ages of childbearing. This shif...
Article
In this study we contrast two South Indian villages which offer women very different employment opportunities. Many women in Village I roll beedis, which are crude hand-rolled cigarettes. The structure of beedi work was designed to meet the needs of the beedi contractor, but inadvertently it has provided women with substantial autonomy. In Village...
Article
We use a method of standardization and decomposition developed by Das Gupta to update Smith and Cutright's analysis of demographic factors responsible for increases in the nonmarital fertility ratio (illegitimacy ratio) among blacks and whites in the United States. We create standardized rates for each year between 1960 and 1992, and consistent, ex...
Article
Using oral histories collected in 1938 and 1939 in the Southern United States, this article examines how African-Americans and whites viewed marriage and nonmarital childbearing. The authors document distinct racial differences in family norms and the sanctions that supported those norms. Giving birth outside a marital relationship was clearly not...
Article
We have conducted surveys specifically designed to study the autonomy/power of women in two Nepali settings. Setting I is in the hills, 75 kilometers southwest of Kathmandu; Setting II is in the tarai (plains) a few kilometers from the border with India. Previously the authors have shown that women in the hill setting have much more autonomy/power...
Article
Married women in Benighat, Nepal stressed old age security and continuity of lineage as prominent reasons for wanting sons. In addition, women clearly desired daughters too--an important finding that is less often stressed. Religious reasons and help with household chores were the most common reasons reported for wanting a daughter. Strong desires...
Article
Mothers' and children's reports of closeness to father are examined using an approach for reconciling discrepant survey responses. This approach is based on a model for the measurement of latent traits. When both mothers and children are asked to report on the closeness of the child to his or her father, tabulations of survey responses show substan...
Article
Interest in rising rates of marriage dissolution has been accompanied by curiosity concerning structural as well as temporal predictors of dissolution. Many factors may play a part: characteristics of the bride and groom; the circumstances surrounding the marriage, such as the length of periods of previous cohabitation; and situational factors with...
Article
Using recently available data drawn from the 1910 census manuscripts, this article documents sharp racial differences in family and household structure at the turn of the century. Compared with those of native whites, African-American households were less likely to be nuclear and more likely to be headed by women. Further, African-American women we...
Article
Over 50% of the American women now in the midst of the childbearing years have never borne a child. These levels of childlessness for women in their 20s are the highest ones in a time series that spans most of the twentieth century. Will postponed parenthood be translated into very high levels of permanent childlessness? Or will these cohorts "catc...
Article
This paper examines the quality of information about marital status, marital duration, and marriage order among African-American women in the U.S. Census of 1910. It compares the reported prevalence of widowhood to estimates of widowhood based on the mortality of black men and on the ages of women at first marriage. It also compares the reported di...
Article
We use vital registration data published since 1979 to update trends in the timing of first births. Two important trends are documented. First, the likelihood that childless women over age 30 will have a first birth has increased since the 1970s. This change shows that women born in the 1950s are "catching up" on fertility postponed at younger ages...
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This study examines cross-sectional differences in fathers' involvement with their adolescent chidren, using data from the National Survey of Children. The analysis focuses on 184 sib pairs and identifies factors associated with variability both within and between sibships. Characteristics that differentiate sibs—age and gender—are found to affect...
Article
Using data from the 1973, 1976, and 1982 National Survey of Family Growth Studies, mothers' retrospective reports of their children's birthweights are compared across surveys and with vital registration data. Comparisons focus on estimated levels for blacks and whites, and on the effects of possible determinants. Despite the fact that nonresponse i...
Article
The pattern of assortative mating among European immigrants and native whites is examined by ethnicity and generation using a national sample drawn from the 1910 census manuscripts and a sample of marriages registered in New York City between 1908 and 1912. The pattern of assortative mating is virtually identical in the two data sets. Endogamy was...
Article
The household structure and family formation relationship has been theoretically central to family sociology and social demography. However, empirical evidence of strong links has been elusive, perhaps because the important links change with modernization and vary across societies with different heritages. We examine the relationship in Thailand wh...
Article
Relying heavily on Ryder's (1965) argument concerning the central role of cohorts in social change and on Elder's (1978) work on life cycles, this paper integrates the disparate threads of the current marital disruption literature and provides an integrated framework for subsequent analysis. We focus on the study of intracohort life cycle developme...
Article
Prior work on the determinants of the 1st-birth process can be divided into 3 approaches: 1) time-series analysis focusing on description and determinants of trends; 2) cross-sectional studies examing childlessness or adolescent fertility; and 3) life-course studies dealing with the timing of fertility relative to other events. Drawing on these tra...