03/16/2015 06:42 pm ET Updated Mar 16, 2015

Can Delaying Pregnancy Significantly Reduce Child Poverty Rates?

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Robert Putnam’s book on poverty in America has spurred a lot of interesting debate online. David Brooks writes that low income people need a reintroduction of norms that “were destroyed by a plague of nonjudgmentalism, which refused to assert that one way of behaving was better than another."Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig writes a rebuttal, where she argues “to impose the easy virtue of the well-to-do on the poor is to request the most stressed and vulnerable members of society to display impossible moral heroism." This I think is worth digging into.

One of the most effective ways to reduce poverty is to delay childbirth. The best argument for this in fact comes from Elizabeth’s husband Matt Bruenig. The following chart, from Matt, shows that poverty rates decline steadily with age.