Low, Bobbi, Carl P. Simon, and Kermyt G. Anderson. 2002. "An Evolutionary Ecological Perspective on Demographic Transitions: Modeling Multiple Currencies." American Journal of Human Biology, 14(2): 149-167.
Life history theory postulates tradeoffs of current versus future reproduction; today women face evolutionarily novel versions of these tradeoffs. Optimal age at first birth is the result of tradeoffs in fertility and mortality; ceteris paribus, early reproduction is advantageous. Yet modern women in developed nations experience relatively late first births; they appear to be trading off socioeconomic status and the paths to raised SES, education and work, against early fertility. Here,  using delineating parameter values drawn from data in the literature, we model these tradeoffs to determine how much socioeconomic advantage will compensate for delayed first births and lower lifetime fertility; and  we examine the effects of work and education on women's lifetime and age-specific fertility using data from seven cohorts in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID).