Journal Article

Work, Leisure, and Family: From the Silent Generation to Millennials

Abstract: This article analyzes the changes in family structure, fertility behavior, and the division of labor within the household from the Silent generation (cohort born in 1940-49) to the Millennial generation (cohort born in 1980-89). Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, this article documents the main trends and life-cycle profiles for each generation. The main findings are that (i) the wage-age profile has been shifting down over generations, especially for Millennial men; (ii) the returns to a four-year college degree or higher for men have increased for all generations; (iii) Millennials enjoy a higher level of leisure than previous generations; (iv) the housework hours for women have clearly declined over generations, while the housework hours for Millennial men are higher than those of the previous generations of men; (iv) less-educated individuals have retreated from marriage, especially Millennials, while more-educated individuals have delayed marriage; (v) divorce rates have risen, with Millennials most likely to divorce, but the longer a couple is married, the likelihood of divorce has decreased over generations; and (vi) the Millennials' completed fertility rate is likely to be the lowest among all generations.

Keywords: work; leisure; family structure; fertility; division of labor; wages; education; housework; household labor;

JEL Classification: I0; I2; J0; J1; J3; J7;

Access Documents


Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Part of Series: Review

Publication Date: 2021-10-18

Volume: 103

Issue: 4

Pages: 385-424