A comparative analysis of leaving home in the United States, the Netherlands and West Germany
We investigate how leaving the parental home differs between three countries with different welfare-state and housing systems: the USA, the Netherlands and West Germany. Using longitudinal survey data, we examine the transitions of leaving home to live with and without a partner. We find that, much more than in the European countries, union formation has become separated from leaving home in the USA. We also find a different impact of level of education and employment status on leaving-home patterns in the European countries with their social-welfare state system than in the US system in which market forces prevail. The differences are not just related to welfare-state systems but also to the sizes of the countries and the geographical dispersion of jobs and educational opportunities.
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