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A CROSS-RACIAL ANALYSIS OF SINGLE FEMALE-HEAD FAMILY FORMATION

DULA J. ESPINOSA and GARRY L. ROLISON
Sociological Focus
Vol. 27, No. 4 (October 1994), pp. 315-326
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20831710
Page Count: 12
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A CROSS-RACIAL ANALYSIS OF SINGLE FEMALE-HEAD FAMILY FORMATION
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Abstract

This paper examines single female-head formation in large U. S. cities using William J. Wilson's (1987) thesis of structural determinants and Gary S. Becker's (1981) general neoclassical economic theory. We use the Social Science Research Council's Urban Underclass Database to explore differences in Black, Hispanic, and White female-head family formation for the 100 largest U. S. cities in 1970, 1980 and 1990. Our model draws on Wilson as rationale to include the male employment rate and the adult sex-ratio as predictors. From Becker, we add the female employment rate and access to public assistance as additional independent variables. Due to cross-cultural differences, we expect Wilson's thesis to better explain female family head formation among Blacks and Hispanics and Becker's to better explain White female family head formation. Results largely confirm these expectations.

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