Increasing Inequality, Rising Uncertainty and the Polarization of the Transition to Adulthood in Mexico

Silvia Giorguli-Saucedo, El Colegio de México
Julieta Perez Amador, El Colegio de México

Recent diversification and qualitative stratification of educational tracks in Mexican society, along with economic uncertainty are polarizing, rather than standardizing, the transition to adulthood. In this paper we analyze continuity and change in the association between educational and labor market characteristics on the transition to cohabitation, marriage and parenthood among three cohorts of young people born in 1950-1980. Our results suggest that college educated youngsters are less likely to cohabit and more likely to delay parenthood than their less educated peers. Although we observe similar differences when comparing high-school with lower-secondary educated, the differences are weaker suggesting that the few who have the opportunity to attend college and access to better jobs have a very different path and timing in transition to adulthood. We find continuity in the effects of labor market status on the timing of family transitions, namely gender disparities, suggesting the enduring familistic orientation of Mexican society.

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Presented in Session 196: Transition to Adulthood