Disease, plantation development, and race-related differences in fertility in the early Twentieth-Century American South

Cheryl Elman, Robert A. McGuire, Andrew S. London

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

A multiple causes perspective contends that economic development and poor health contributed to early 20th-century southern race-related differences in fertility. The authors link the 1910 IPUMS to the 1916 Plantation Census (1909 data), southern disease (malaria and hook-worm), and sanitation indicators to examine fertility differentials, while accounting for child mortality (an endogenous demographic control). They find that African-American and white women in counties with higher malaria mortality had higher child mortality. Additionally, African-American women exposed to poorer sanitation and plantation development had higher child mortality. Consistent with a multiple causes perspective, white women’s fertility was lower where land improvement and school enrollment were higher. African-American women’s fertility was lower in health-place contexts of higher malaria mortality and greater plantation development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1327-1371
Number of pages45
JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
Volume124
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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