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Diverging Destinies: How Children Are Faring Under the Second Demographic Transition

From: Demography
Volume 41, Number 4, November 2004
pp. 607-627 | 10.1353/dem.2004.0033


In this article, I argue that the trends associated with the second demographic transition are following two trajectories and leading to greater disparities in children's resources. Whereas children who were born to the most-educated women are gaining resources, in terms of parents' time and money, those who were born to the least-educated women are losing resources. The forces behind these changes include feminism, new birth control technologies, changes in labor market opportunities, and welfare-state policies. I contend that Americans should be concerned about the growing disparity in parental resources and that the government can do more to close the gap between rich and poor children.