Change in the Transition to Adulthood in the Netherlands before and during the Great Recession

Michaƫl Boissonneault , Montreal University
Joop de Beer, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)

The Great Recession (2008-2014) had an important impact on European labor markets, affecting disproportionally younger people. This group may respond to higher unemployment by adjusting their housing and professional careers, for example by prolonging parental co-residence or postponing schooling completion. However, these early life-course decisions can have a significant impact on subsequent events, and people with different backgrounds or at different life-courses stages may react differently, potentially leading to greater inter-individual and inter-cohort variability in the timing and sequencing of these events. This paper sheds light on these issues by describing the transition to adulthood among cohorts that entered their adult years before or during the Great Recession in the Netherlands. Using timely and highly detailed Dutch register data, change concerning both the family formation (household arrangement, union formation, childbearing) and school-training-work (schooling, employment, home ownership) nexuses is documented. First, we describe trends in the age-patterns over time and across cohorts using Lexis surfaces and the ternary balance scheme technique. Then, event-history models are used to estimate the median age at which transitions are made and measure variability across cohorts and among individuals of a same cohort. Though we expect a delay in markers of the transition to adulthood among the cohorts that entered their adult years during the recession, it remains unclear whether this will translate into permanent differences in later outcomes from a cohort perspective.

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 Presented in Session 111. Life Course: Transition to Adulthood