Abstract

Our recent paper in Demography (Gray, Stockard, and Stone 2006) has attracted the close scrutiny of several prominent academics. Three sets of formal comments, authored independently by Ermisch, Martin, and Wu (EMW), appear in this issue of Demography. In this response we argue that the analysis and evidence of our 2006 paper have withstood the scrutiny of EMW. In particular, we find that a substantial part of the rising share of nonmarital births since 1970 is due to a selection effect associated with marriage. This same selection effect also explains how birth rates could rise in both groups, even though their combined birth rate did not. In sum, though we appreciate the opportunity to expand on several key aspects of our 2006 article, we see no reason to substantially revise any of our major conclusions based on the EMW comments.

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