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When do people become adults? The Uruguayan case


  • Máximo Rossi

    (Facultad de Ciencias Sociales)

  • Natalia Melgar

    (Facultad de Ciencias Sociales)


This paper explores the key experiences that Uruguayans consider relevant for becoming an adult in Uruguay. In particular, we assess the linkages between adulthood and skills, income, labor market participation and marital status, among others transitions that have been found to be associated with the attainment of adulthood. With the aim of identifying attitudinal patterns, we estimate ordered probit models examining a serious of hypothetical transitions. Our dataset is the 2008 survey carried out by the International Social Survey Program in Uruguay. We discover that gender, age, and educational level are viewed as critical determinants in the passage to adulthood. Moreover, we discover that Uruguay may have a different constellation of beliefs pertaining to adult transitions than similar studies that have been conducted in the United States. Este trabajo explora cuáles son los factores clave que los uruguayos consideran relevantes para calificar a alguien como adulto. En particular, se analiza la relación entre la adultez y la educación, el ingreso personal, la participación en el mercado laboral y el estado civil, entre otras características personales. Con el objetivo de identificar patrones de comportamiento, se estiman modelos probit ordenados. La base de datos es la encuesta de 2008 llevada a cabo por el International Social Survey Program en Uruguay.Este artículo señala que el género, la edad y el nivel educativo son factores críticos para entender cuando se considera que alguien es adulto. Por otra parte, se extienden los resultados de investigaciones anteriores, mostrando que el hecho de vivir ciertas circunstancias como la paternidad, no hace que la opinión pública considere que esas personas son adultas.

Suggested Citation

  • Máximo Rossi & Natalia Melgar, 2012. "When do people become adults? The Uruguayan case," Working Papers. Serie EC 2012-05, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  • Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasec:2012-05

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Larry Bumpass & Ronald Rindfuss & Richard Jamosik, 1978. "Age and marital status at first birth and the pace of subsequent fertility," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 15(1), pages 75-86, February.
    2. 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.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. When do people become adults? The Uruguayan case
      by Maximo Rossi in Wikiprogress América Latina on 2012-09-13 23:24:00

    More about this item


    Adultez; transición; ciclo de vida; Uruguay Adulthood; transition; life course; Uruguay.;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • J19 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Other
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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