Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Maximiliane E. Szinovacz

Second Advisor

Yung-Ping Chen

Third Advisor

Alan Clayton-Matthews


The effects of childbearing patterns on the timing of men's and women's retirement were examined. The data for this study come from the Health and Retirement Study, waves 1-7: 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004. A proportional hazard model (Cox regression) was chosen for this study. Two measures of retirement were considered: labor force exit and self-defined retirement. The results indicated that men with dependent children are more likely to postpone the timing of labor force exit and their self-definition as retired. At the same time, the study indicated that the presence (or absence) and timing of early childbearing experience has a long-term effect on the timing of retirement in later life. In particular, for both men and women, childbearing factors associated with a greater family burden in early life (e.g., parenthood and early childbearing) are related to a later labor force exit. The number of children, however, only affects the timing of women's labor force exit.