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The Easterlin Hypothesis: Another Aspect of the Echo to Consider

Valerie Kincade Oppenheimer
Population and Development Review
Vol. 2, No. 3/4 (Sep. - Dec., 1976), pp. 433-457
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/1971621
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1971621
Page Count: 25
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The Easterlin Hypothesis: Another Aspect of the Echo to Consider
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Abstract

This paper suggests the need to clarify several ambiguities in Easterlin's concept of relative economic status. Changes that have occurred in the earnings of young men relative to their fathers' earnings turn out to be rather different from those that have occurred relative to total family income of parental generation. Also, looking at relative economic deprivation at one moment in time, as well as over time, indicates there are at least two life-cycle squeezes affecting the status of younger vis-a-vis older men. Finally, at present, young cohorts, on the basis of husband's earnings alone, are at an economic disadvantage not only relative to consumption aspirations developed in the parental household but also relative to young couples (with wife working) just ahead of them in the family cycle.

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