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No Time to Be Young: The Economic Prospects for Large Cohorts in the United States


  • James P. Smith


  • Finis Welch

    (Welch & Associates)


This paper concentrates on the economic experiences of the baby-boom cohorts. We first document their early career experience and demonstrate that indeed this was no time to be young. We then offer reasons why cohort size may be important and note which people, within a cohort, are most likely to be adversely affected. We estimate the magnitude of cohort size effects on earnings potential throughout the work career.

Suggested Citation

  • James P. Smith & Finis Welch, 2004. "No Time to Be Young: The Economic Prospects for Large Cohorts in the United States," Labor and Demography 0403005, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0403005
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 13. Population and Development Review, Volume 7, Number 1, March 1981, pp. 71-84

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    Cited by:

    1. David E. Bloom & Richard B. Freeman, 1986. "The "Youth Problem": Age or Generational Crowding?," NBER Working Papers 1829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Tim Slack & Leif Jensen, 2008. "Birth and Fortune Revisited: A Cohort Analysis of Underemployment, 1974–2004," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 27(6), pages 729-749, December.

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    JEL classification:

    • J - Labor and Demographic Economics

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