Adapting to Circumstances: The Evolution of Work, School, and Living Arrangements Among North American Youth
NBER Working Paper No. 6142
We use comparable micro data sets for the U.S. and Canada to study the responses of young workers to the external labor market forces that have affected the two countries over the past 25 years. We find that young workers adjust to changes in labor market opportunities through a variety of mechanisms, including changes in living arrangements, changes in school enrollment, and changes in work effort. In particular, we find that poor labor market conditions in Canada explain why the fraction of youth living with their parents has increased in Canada relative to the U.S. recently. Paradoxically, this move back home also explains why the relative position of Canadian youth in the distribution of family income did not deteriorate as fast as in the U.S.