Working for Pay or Raising a Family? A Longitudinal Exploration of the Work and Family Expectations of Early and Late Baby Boomers

Javier Garcia-Manglano, University of Maryland

I use two cohorts of the National Longitudinal Studies (NLS-Young Women 1968, and NLS-Youth 1979) to compare the work expectations of early and late baby boomers during young adulthood. The neoclassical human capital argument in Economics (cfr. Polachek and Mincer 1974; Polachek 1975, 1981) predicts that individuals with low work expectations would invest less in human capital and choose jobs with lower depreciation for time off. Past research has largely applied this argument to differences between men and women (i.e. across the sexes), rather than differences among men or women with different work expectations (i.e. within the sexes). I test whether work expectations in young adulthood predict women's early investments in human capital, their choice of first job, and other work and family outcomes at midlife. This paper is part of a larger project on the reciprocal relationship between work expectations and economic outcomes across women's adult life-course.

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Presented in Poster Session 1