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Against the Tide

Household Structure, Opportunities, and Outcomes among White and Minority Youth

Carolyn J. Hill, Harry J. Holzer, and Henry Chen

Publication Year: 2009

Hill, Holzer, and Chen examine the effects of household structure on youth and young adults and how these effects might have contributed to the negative trends in outcomes observed for young minorities over time.

Published by: W.E. Upjohn Institute

Title page

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pp. iii

Copyright page

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pp. iv


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pp. v-vi

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pp. ix

We would like to thank the Smith Richardson Foundation and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research for generous funding of the research presented here. At the Upjohn Institute, Kevin Hollenbeck and three anonymous referees gave us detailed comments that were very helpful as we revised the manuscript. Seminar participants at the Bureau of Labor Statistics...

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1 - Introduction

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pp. 1-21

Among young adults in the United States, employment and educational outcomes (such as wages, weeks worked, enrollment in college, and educational attainment) are lower for minorities, and especially for African Americans, than for whites. These gaps have been persistent over time and in some cases are expanding. Among young black men...

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2 - Outcomes for Young Adults in Two Cohorts

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pp. 23-50

This chapter presents descriptive information about employment, education, and risky behaviors for young adults in the mid-1980s and the mid-2000s. In particular, we examine three areas: 1) employment outcomes of hourly wages, hours worked, and weeks worked; 2) educational outcomes of enrollment, degrees attained, high school test scores...

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3 - Household Structure and Young Adult Outcomes

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pp. 51-87

Chapter 2 documented gaps in employment and educational outcomes between white and minority young adults that have persisted or grown over the past few decades, with outcomes for young black men worsening in relative (or even absolute) terms. One potential explanation for the persistence of these gaps is the increasing...

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4 - Other Correlates of Household Structure and Their Effects on Outcomes

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pp. 89-117

The previous chapter showed strong statistical relationships between household structure and a range of employment, educational, and behavioral outcomes of young adults—both for the full sample and for the subgroup of blacks. While family income accounted for a considerable portion (up to 40 percent) of the effects of household structure...

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5 - Conclusion

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pp. 119-137

Gaps in employment and education outcomes between young African Americans and whites have persisted over the past several decades, despite significant strides. Along some dimensions, such as employment and especially incarceration among young men, the racial gaps have even widened. ...

Appendix A - Background Tables

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pp. 139-153


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pp. 155-168

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The Authors

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pp. 169-170

Carolyn J. Hill is an associate professor of public policy at Georgetown University. She received her MA in public policy analysis in 1996 from the La Follette Institute at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and her PhD in 2001 from the Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago. ...


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pp. 171-179

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About the Institute

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pp. 181

The W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research is a nonprofit research organization devoted to finding and promoting solutions to employmentrelated problems at the national, state, and local levels. It is an activity of the W.E. Upjohn Unemployment Trustee Corporation, which was established in 1932 to administer a fund set aside by Dr. W.E. Upjohn, founder...

E-ISBN-13: 9780880994378
E-ISBN-10: 0880994371
Print-ISBN-13: 9780880993418
Print-ISBN-10: 0880993413

Page Count: 181
Publication Year: 2009

Edition: First