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

  • Francesco C. Billari

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

  • Chris Wilson

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

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.

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File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/Papers/Working/WP-2001-039.pdf
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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2001-039.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2001-039
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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  1. Arland Thornton, 2001. "The developmental paradigm, reading history sideways, and family change," Demography, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 449-465, November.
  2. J. E. Stiglitz, 2000. "Conclusions," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 29(1), pages 145-151, 02.
  3. 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.
  4. Ronald Rindfuss, 1991. "The Young Adult Years: Diversity, Structural Change, and Fertility," Demography, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 493-512, November.
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