This paper looks back at the findings reported in Destinies of the Disadvantaged: The Politics of Teenage Parenthood
, a decade after its publication in light of recent research. Increasingly, the most methodologically sophisticated research has minimized the “causal impact” of early childbearing on later life events consistent with the findings of the Baltimore Study. I argue in the paper that we must see early childbearing primarily as a marker rather than a cause of economic disadvantage. As such, reducing early childbearing will have a minimal impact on the lives of highly disadvantaged teens unless those teens use the delay in childbearing to improve their education and labor market prospects.
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