Binghamton University historian wins $667,237 grant to study fertility rates
A five-year $667,237 grant will support a Binghamton University professor’s study of American fertility decline from 1790-2000. J. David Hacker, assistant professor of history, received the grant as a Career Development Award from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
According to Hacker the total fertility rate, the number of children a woman has in her lifetime, fell from seven or eight in 1800 to slightly more than two today.
Hacker’s quantitative study will rely primarily on data from the U.S. Census Bureau. He will describe the fertility decline in greater detail than previously possible, looking at differentials such as race, ethnicity, region and occupation. He will also explain the decline using multi-level empirical models.
The 15 census microdata samples Hacker will examine include records for some 18 million individuals.
Hacker’s previous work in the demographic history of the United States has included studies of mortality decline, the timing and incidence of marriage, migration, fertility and census under-enumeration.
Hacker, director of graduate studies in the History Department, joined the Binghamton University faculty in 2002. He holds a doctorate from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree from Miami University of Ohio.