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Melvin Stephens, Estimating Program Benefits

Arline T. Geronimus photo

Health Inequality and Population Variation in Fertility-timing

Publication Abstract

Geronimus, Arline T., John Bound, and Timothy A. Waidmann. 1999. "Health Inequality and Population Variation in Fertility-timing." Social Science & Medicine, 49(12): 1623-1636.

We estimate the impact of fertility-timing on the chances that children in poor urban African American communities will have surviving and able-bodied parents until maturity. To do so, we use census and vital statistics data to compute age- and sex-specific rates of mortality and functional limitation among prime-aged adult residents of impoverished African American areas in Harlem, Detroit, Chicago, and the Watts area of Los Angeles and for blacks and whites nationwide. Findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the early fertility-timing characteristic of poor urban African American populations mitigates some of the costs to families associated with excess mortality and early health deterioration in young through middle adulthood.

DOI:10.1016/S0277-9536(99)00246-4 (Full Text)

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