Volume 7 - Article 17 | Pages 565-592

A comparative analysis of leaving home in the United States, the Netherlands and West Germany

By Clara Mulder, William A.V. Clark, Michael Wagner

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Date received:03 Sep 2002
Date published:11 Dec 2002
Word count:7660
Keywords:Germany, household, leaving the parental home, Netherlands, union formation, USA


We investigate how leaving the parental home differs between three countries with different welfare-state and housing systems: the USA, the Netherlands and West Germany. Using longitudinal survey data, we examine the transitions of leaving home to live with and without a partner.
We find that, much more than in the European countries, union formation has become separated from leaving home in the USA. We also find a different impact of level of education and employment status on leaving-home patterns in the European countries with their social-welfare state system than in the US system in which market forces prevail. The differences are not just related to welfare-state systems but also to the sizes of the countries and the geographical dispersion of jobs and educational opportunities.

Author's Affiliation

Clara Mulder - University of Groningen, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, Population Research Centre, Netherlands [Email]
William A.V. Clark - University of California, Los Angeles, United States of America [Email]
Michael Wagner - University of Cologne, Germany [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Family dynamics and housing: Conceptual issues and empirical findings
Volume 29 - Article 14

» Do women delay family formation in expensive housing markets?
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» On the links between employment, partnership quality, and the desire to have a first child: The case of West Germany
Volume 24 - Article 24

» Geographical distances between adult children and their parents in the Netherlands
Volume 17 - Article 22

» Family migration and mobility sequences in the United States: Spatial mobility in the context of the life course
Volume 17 - Article 20

» Population and housing: A two-sided relationship
Volume 15 - Article 13

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