Price of Independence, The
The Economics of Early Adulthood
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Title Page, Copyright
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About the Authors
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1. Introduction: The Price of Independence: The Economics of Early Adulthood
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Who is an “adult”? Many would identify having completed schooling, working steadily, living independently of one’s parents, marrying, and having children as the markers of adulthood, traditionally achieved between the late teens and the early thirties (Furstenberg, Rumbaut, and Settersten 2005).1 However, compared with...
Part 1. Securing Employment and Completing Schooling
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2. Failure to Launch: Cross-National Trends in the Transition to Economic Independence
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In contrast to retirement, which is happening earlier for many, the transition to adulthood, especially economic self-sufficiency, is taking longer in most industrialized countries. One possible reason for this “failure to launch” is that well-compensated jobs now require more schooling. That is not the only answer, however, at least not in the United...
3. Is the Company Man an Anachronism? Trends in Long-Term Employment in the United States, 1973 to 2006
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The typical characterization of a work career is that after some turnover early on, most workers find a more or less lifetime job. However, this trajectory has been challenged in the last twenty years as large corporations have engaged in highly publicized layoffs and the industrial structure of the U.S. economy has shifted in the face of...
4. Health Insurance and the Transition to Adulthood
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About one in six Americans had no health insurance in 2005 (De- Navas-Walt, Proctor, and Lee 2006). Not surprisingly, the uninsured tend to be poorer than the insured (Institute of Medicine 2001). They are also younger. In fact, one-half of all uninsured adults are between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four (author’s calculations based...
5. Blurring the Boundary: Changes in Collegiate Participation and the Transition to Adulthood
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Today college enrollment and activities like working and raising a family are not mutually exclusive. During the early 1970s, nearly three-fourths of undergraduate students fell into the eighteen-to-twenty- one age bracket, but today only about 56 percent fit that description (U.S. Bureau of the Census n.d.)...
Part 2. Living with Parents Longer and Starting Families Later
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6. Labor Market Experiences and Transitions to Adulthood
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Richard Settersten, Frank Furstenberg, and Rubén Rumbaut (2005, 5) recently concluded that today “entry into adulthood has become more ambiguous and generally occurs in a gradual, complex, and less uniform fashion” than in the recent past. This more protracted and complex transition to adulthood is often the focus of media...
7. Young Adults Leaving the Nest:The Role of the Cost of Living
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A Time magazine article published January 24, 2005, and entitled “They Just Won’t Grow Up” discusses the widely held perception that the transition to adulthood has become longer. The article describes the emergence of “twixters,” young adults in their twenties who refuse to settle down. In response to the question “What makes you...
8. Sticking Around: Delayed Departure from the Parental Nest in Western Europe
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Most of the chapters in this volume focus on the transition to adulthood in the United States, yet some of the most dramatic changes in pathways to independence are unfolding beyond U.S. borders. In some Catholic countries of western Europe, young adults are marrying later or not marrying at all. Below-replacement fertility...
9. To Have and to Hold: An Analysis of Young Adult Debt
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Researchers have long recognized the importance of studying young adults’ experiences in labor markets, in the educational arena, and within the family. These three domains are considered key to shaping the transition to adulthood in the United States (Settersten, Furstenberg, and Rumbaut 2005). Young adults’ experiences in...
Part 3. Family Background, Incarceration, and the Transition to Adulthood
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10. Family Background and Children’s Transitions to Adulthood over Time
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The transition to adulthood is almost by definition a process of breaking away from one’s family of origin. Nevertheless, family background has an impact on the success of this transition. For example, Gary Sandefur, Jennifer Eggerling-Boeck, and Hyunjoon Park (2005) and David Ellwood and Thomas Kane (2000) show that parental...
11. Early Incarceration Spells and Transition to Adulthood
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Over the past three decades, the population of U.S. prisons and jails has more than quadrupled. In 1977 roughly 500,000 people were incarcerated in the nation’s prisons and jails. As of 2004 this figure was more than 2.1 million, with the lion’s share of these inmates incarcerated in state and federal prisons. The risk of incarceration is especially...
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Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 2008