family formation


We use comparable micro data sets for the U.S. and Canada to study the responses of young
workers to the extemal 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.

Year of Publication
Date Published
Publication Language
Citation Key
Card, D., & Lemieux, T. (1997). Adapting to Circumstances: The Evolution of Work, School, and Living Arrangements Among North American Youth. Retrieved from (Original work published June 1997)
Working Papers