Racial Differences in the Effect of Marriageable Males on Female Family Headship.


Journal Article

Female family headship has strong implications for endemic poverty in the United States. Consequently, it is imperative to explore the chief factors that contribute to this problem. Departing from prior literature that places significant weight on welfare-incentive effects, our study highlights the role of male marriageability in explaining the prevalence of never-married female family headship for blacks and whites. Specifically, we examine racial differences in the effect of male marriageability on never-married female headship from 1980 to 2010. By exploiting data from IPUMS-USA (N = 4,958,722) and exogenous variation from state-level sentencing reforms, the study finds that the decline in the relative supply of marriageable males significantly increases the incidence of never-married female family headship for blacks but not for whites.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Craigie, T-A; Myers, SL; Darity, WA

Published Date

  • September 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 84 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 231 - 256

PubMed ID

  • 30221008

Pubmed Central ID

  • 30221008

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2054-0906

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2054-0892

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/dem.2018.3


  • eng