Abstract

Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, this study explored the association among delayed childbearing, completed family size and several measures of the economic well-being of women age 60 and older in 1976. By retirement age women who bore their first child at age 30 or older are significantly better off economically than either average-age childbearers or the childless. Economic well-being also appears to be related to family size among late childbearers. At retirement age the delayed childbearer with only one or two children appears better off than all other women. Thus, late childbearing and small family size appear associated with the highest standard of living for these women. This study also relates the experience of this early cohort of women to that of more recent birth cohorts.

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