Tag Archives | Recession

Deciding to Wait: Partnership Status, Economic Conditions, and Pregnancy during the Great Recession

Christine Percheski, Rachel Tolbert Kimbro

Sociological Science, February 20, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a8

The Great Recession was associated with reduced fertility in the United States. Many questions about the dynamics underlying this reduction remain unanswered, however, including whether reduced fertility rates were driven by decreases in intended or unplanned pregnancies. Using restricted data from the 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth (N = 4,630), we exploit variation in state economic indicators to assess the impact of economic conditions on the likelihood of an intended pregnancy, an unplanned pregnancy, or no pregnancy for adult women without a college education. We focus on variations by partnership and marital status. Overall, we find that worse economic conditions were predictive of a lower risk of unplanned pregnancy. Women’s odds of intended pregnancy did not, however, respond uniformly to economic conditions but varied by marital status. When economic conditions were poor, married women had lower odds of intended pregnancy, whereas cohabiting women had greater odds of intended pregnancy.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Christine Percheski: Department of Sociology and Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University
Email: c-percheski@northwestern.edu

Rachel Tolbert Kimbro: Department of Sociology, Rice University
Email: rtkimbro@rice.edu

Acknowledgements: The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty Emerging Scholars Family Complexity Small Grant program.

  • Citation: Percheski, Christine, and Rachel Tolbert Kimbro. 2017. “Deciding to Wait: Partnership Status, Economic Conditions, and Pregnancy during the Great Recession.” Sociological Science 4: 176-195.
  • Received: September 23, 2016
  • Accepted: January 9, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper B. Sørensen, Sarah Soule
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a8
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Unequal Hard Times: The Influence of the Great Recession on Gender Bias in Entrepreneurial Financing

Sarah Thébaud, Amanda J. Sharkey

Sociological Science, January 6, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a1

Prior work finds mixed evidence of gender bias in lenders’ willingness to approve loans to entrepreneurs during normal macroeconomic conditions. However, various theories predict that gender bias is more likely to manifest when there is greater uncertainty or when decision-makers’ choices are under greater scrutiny from others. Such conditions characterized the lending market in the recent economic downturn. This article draws on an analysis of panel data from the Kauffman Firm Survey to investigate how the Great Recession affected the gender gap in entrepreneurial access to financing, net of individual and firm-level characteristics. Consistent with predictions, we find that women-led firms were significantly more likely than men-led firms to encounter difficulty in acquiring funding when small-business lending contracted in 2009 and 2010. We assess the consistency of our results with two different theories of bias or discrimination. Our findings shed light on mechanisms that may contribute to disadvantages for women entrepreneurs and, more broadly, highlight how the effects of ascribed status characteristics (e.g., gender) on economic decision-making may vary systematically with macroeconomic conditions.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Sarah Thébaud: Department of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara.  Email: sthebaud@soc.ucsb.edu.

Amanda J. Sharkey: Booth School of Business, University of Chicago.  Email: sharkey@chicagobooth.edu.

Acknowledgments: This research was supported by a National Science Foundation Fellowship and the Center for the Study of Social Organization at Princeton University. We thank Paul DiMaggio, Heather Haveman, Michael Jensen, Johan Chu, Elizabeth Pontikes, Chris Yenkey, seminar participants at Cornell, the Kauffman Foundation, Princeton, and the University of Michigan, and Deputy Editor Olav Sorenson for helpful comments and feedback.

  • Citation: Thébaud, Sarah and Amanda J. Sharkey. 2016. “Unequal Hard Times: The Influence of the Great Recession on Gender Bias in Entrepreneurial Financing.” Sociological Science 3: 1-31.
  • Received: June 12, 2015.
  • Accepted: August 21, 2015.
  • Editors: Olav Sorenson
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a1
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