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Convergence towards diversity? Cohort dynamics in the transition to adulthood in contemporary Western Europe

Author

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  • Francesco C. Billari

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Chris Wilson

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

Abstract

This paper addresses the transition to adulthood in developed countries. It reviews the main theories that have been employed in recent years to explain trends in such variables as age ages at leaving home, union formation, first marriage and first birth. The paper then examines the median ages at which women in nine European countries experienced these events and the inter-quartile range within each cohort. The results do not provide unequivocal support for any of the main theories. In conclusion we offer some speculative remarks on what form an alternative theory might take.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco C. Billari & Chris Wilson, 2001. "Convergence towards diversity? Cohort dynamics in the transition to adulthood in contemporary Western Europe," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-039, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2001-039
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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/Papers/Working/WP-2001-039.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Arland Thornton, 2001. "The developmental paradigm, reading history sideways, and family change," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(4), pages 449-465, November.
    2. Ronald Rindfuss, 1991. "The Young Adult Years: Diversity, Structural Change, and Fertility," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 28(4), pages 493-512, November.
    3. J. E. Stiglitz, 2000. "Conclusions," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 29(1), pages 145-151, February.
    4. Francesco C. Billari & Dimiter Philipov & Pau Baizán Munoz, 2001. "Leaving home in Europe: the experience of cohorts born around 1960," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-014, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Roberto Impicciatore, 2015. "The Transition to Adulthood of the Italian Second Generation in France," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 31(5), pages 529-560, December.
    2. FFF1Francesco NNN1Billari, 2004. "Becoming an Adult in Europe: A Macro(/Micro)-Demographic Perspective," Demographic Research Special Collections, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 3(2), pages 15-44, April.
    3. Alessandra De Rose & Filomena Racioppi & Anna Laura Zanatta, 2008. "Italy: Delayed adaptation of social institutions to changes in family behaviour," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(19), pages 665-704, July.
    4. Sander Wagner & Olivier Thévenon, 2017. "The Evolution of Within- and Cross-Country Differences in the Transition to Adulthood: A New Perspective," Working Papers 2017-04, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    5. Marta Domínguez-Folgueras & Teresa Castro Martín, 2008. "Women’s changing socioeconomic position and union formation in Spain and Portugal," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(41), pages 1513-1550, August.
    6. Frank Furstenberg & Natalia Melgar & Máximo Rossi, 2011. "When do people become adults? The Uruguayan case," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 2611, Department of Economics - dECON.
    7. Anne H. Gauthier & Timothy M. Smeeding & Frank F. Furstenberg, 2004. "Are Parents Investing Less Time in Children? Trends in Selected Industrialized Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 30(4), pages 647-672.
    8. Maria Concetta Chiuri & Daniela Del Boca, 2010. "Household Membership Decisions of Adult Children: Exploring European Diversity," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 24(s1), pages 3-24, December.
    9. Gerda R. Neyer, 2003. "Family policies and low fertility in Western Europe," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-021, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    10. Tomáš Sobotka, 2008. "Overview Chapter 6: The diverse faces of the Second Demographic Transition in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(8), pages 171-224, July.
    11. Monika A. Mynarska, 2007. "Fertility postponement and age norms in Poland: is there a deadline for parenthood?," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2007-029, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    12. Frątczak, Ewa, 2004. "Family and Fertility in Poland: Changes during the Transition Period," Discussion Paper 206, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    13. Zsolt Spéder, 2007. "The diversity of Family structure in Europe: A survey on partnership, parenting and childhood across Europe around the millenium," Demográfia English Edition, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute, vol. 50(5), pages 105-134.
    14. Chiara Saraceno, 2005. "The Reproductive Paradox of a “Strong Family” Society: The Case of Low Fertility in Italy," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 1, March.
    15. Neyer, Gerda, 2003. "Family Policies and Low Fertility in Western Europe," Discussion Paper 161, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    16. Francesco C. Billari & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2002. "Patterns of lowest-low fertility in Europe," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-040, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    17. Joop Beer & Ingeborg Deerenberg, 2007. "An Explanatory Model for Projecting Regional Fertility Differences in the Netherlands," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 26(5), pages 511-528, December.
    18. László Hablicsek & Isabelle Robert-Bobée & Danusa Jurcova & Ferenc Kamarás & Jan Mészáros & Mária H. Richter & Jean-Paul Sardon & Pál Péter Tóth & Boris Vano, 2005. "Harmonized demographic projections between France, Hungary and Slovakia," Demográfia English Edition, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute, vol. 49(5), pages 5-42.
    19. Hans-Peter Kohler & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "Tempo-Adjusted Period Parity Progression Measures:," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 6(7), pages 145-190, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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