Cross-Time and Cross-National Comparisons of the Transition to Adulthood: Brazil, Mexico, and South Korea, 1970-2000

Hyunjoon Park, University of Pennsylvania
Carlos Costa Ribeiro, Instituto Universitário de Pesquisas do Rio de Janeiro (IUPERJ)
Elizabeth Fussell, Washington State University

Using census data from Brazil, Mexico, and South Korea in 1970 and 2000, we conduct cross-time and cross-national comparisons of the transition to adulthood. The three countries, which showed relatively similar levels of demographic, economic, and educational development in 1970, have, since then, followed considerably different trajectories of economic and educational models. We examine how these different national “scenes” produced very different patterns of transition to adulthood. To measure the timing and complexity of the transition to adulthood as a whole, we apply entropy analysis that provides a single measure summarizing combinations of multiple demographic statuses held by young people. We compare the age distributions of entropy measures across countries in each year to identify which countries show more heterogeneity in status combinations at specific stage of life course, how the patterns have changed over time, and how they relate to the economic development trajectories of these three countries.

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Presented in Session 136: Transition to Adulthood