Högnäs, Robin and Marcia Carlson
Working paper no. 2010-10
We use data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth (N=11,182) to examine the intergenerational transmission of nonmarital fertility for both men and women. We find that being born to unmarried parents increases the risk of both (adult) sons and daughters having a nonmarital first birth. Family instability appears to be a key mechanism by which parents’ nonmarital birth is linked to offspring fertility, although net of all mechanisms and covariates, being born to unmarried parents remains a significant predictor of daughters’–but not sons’–having a nonmarital birth. We find that gender, race/ethnicity, and SES all moderate the intergenerational transmission of nonmarital fertility.