, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 209–210 | Cite as

Composition and decomposition in nonmarital fertility

  • Lawrence l. Wu


Ermisch (2009) criticized Gray, Stockard, and Stone (2006), arguing that they incorrectly tested a model positing a nonlinear relationship between the nonmarital fertility ratio and the proportion of unmarried women. I identify a different problem, which is that even if this model were to hold for a particular population, it would not in general hold for subgroups of this population; likewise, were it to hold for subgroups, it would not hold for aggregations of these subgroups.


Unmarried Woman Teen Birth Nonmarital Birth Period Trend Nonmarital Fertility 
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  1. Ermisch, J. 2009. “The Rising Share of Nonmarital Births: Is It Only Compositional Effects?” Demography 46:193–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Gray, J.A., J. Stockard, and J.A. Stone. 2006. “The Rising Share of Nonmarital Births: Fertility Choice or Marriage Behavior.” Demography 43:241–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Wu, L.L., L.L. Bumpass, and K. Musick. 2001. “Historical and Life Course Trajectories of Nonmarital Childbearing.” Pp. 1–48 in Out of Wedlock: Causes and Consequences of Nonmarital Fertility, edited by L.L. Wu and B. Wolfe. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence l. Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyNew York UniversityNew York

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