The Effect of Religiosity on Male and Female Fertility

Li Zhang, Texas A&M University

Religious affiliation as a determinant of fertility has drawn much of research attention. Some researchers, however, have challenged the association between religious affiliation and fertility. They have argued that once the religious groups’ socioeconomic characteristics are controlled, the effect of religion on fertility disappears. Using data from the NSFG Cycle 6, this paper shows that fertility differentials in different religious groups could be spurious. And the spurious relationship is not caused by socioeconomic status of different religious groups, but is caused by religiosity. i.e., there are significant differences among the effects of other religious affiliations on children ever born compared to Catholic religion, controlling demographic and socioeconomic variables. But once religiosity is included in the regression models, the different effects of religious affiliations on fertility disappear. Also, there is no significant difference in the effects of religion on male and female fertility. This has rarely been examined in previous literature.

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Presented in Poster Session 6