This paper investigates the question of how long it takes young male workers to earn enough to reach a given standard of living, e.g., enough to support a family. We use the Panel Study of Income Dynamics data on the earnings of children and their parents to answer these questions. Our findings are that all groups of men, classified by race, ethnicity, and education level, are taking longer to reach a given standard of living. Some, e.g., undereducated black males, will never reach middle class standards of living for themselves. Implications for household formation, marriage, and public policy are discussed in closing.

Document Type

Working Paper






Income Security Policy Series


Economic Policy | Economics | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Public Policy


1061 1843

Additional Information

Policy studies paper no.11


Local Input

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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